AD 226 | Stephanie Hanes
“Deconstructing The Female Form”

Stephanie E. Hanes was born in Alberta, Canada in 1985. In 2009 they received a BFA from The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Canada. Hanes is a recent MFA Graduate of Ceramics at the Rhode Island School Of Design in 2017 and received the prestigious Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship for a graduate student with exceptional promise. Stephanie was one of the artists awarded the 2020 NCECA Emerging Artist Prize. In addition, they have exhibited Internationally with a solo show at C.R.E.T.A Rome Gallery in Italy and several group shows at Lefebvre et Fils Gallery in Paris, France. Their ceramic sculptures have been exhibited throughout the USA in New York City, Providence, Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles. Hanes is a full-time lecturer in 3D4M at the University of Washington in Seattle, where they teach sculpture and ceramics.

Stephanie’s Artist Statement
view the full statement here

“As John Berger observed, “Men act. Women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.” His idea is that the nude in western art reveals a taming of the female body creating a biased view of what is “ideal beauty.” As a result, women in our culture learn their own particulars for self-surveillance, the internalization of these “ideals” results in shame that many women have for their own sexuality, particularly when it fails to measure up to its alleged reflection in pop culture. As well as how we compulsively confront that shame by returning to those images on a daily basis. Consequently, we fashion and refashion ourselves through these encounters, which only provides fragmentary mis-recognitions that we are conditioned to accept and emulate.

This experience with our own image is more like a distorted carnival mirror, in that we recognize what is depicted but it does not necessarily correspond to how we see ourselves. I use the nude female body as a site of resistance, I want to exaggerate this dysmorphic view of the female body in culture. The rendering of the figures reveals a raw nakedness that is aggressively emphasized by its tactility, giving birth to a sort of angst. I use the idea of movement and intuitive expression to articulate the feeling ones continually changing interior self, to then be projected in an exterior space. I use this strategy of making in an effort to unravel feminine truths through mimicry of the “ideal”, to make the unseen visible, and ultimately disrupting this singular notion of a “correct femininity” that has both the potential for creativity and destruction. This deconstruction is to dissolve, to oppose traditional binary distinction. It is a critical practice of playing with ideas and thus destroying convention and giving representational form new thoughts.”
- Stephanie Hanes

Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • The male gaze vs the female gaze
  • The art of turning the internal world into external objects
  • Female bodies always changing to suit the patriarchal norms of the time
  • Using the techniques of “chiaroscuro” and “englaze luster” in their sculptures
  • Their research into queer and feminist theories
  • Identity and gender expression
  • Pansexuality
  • Grappling with pain and suffering
  • “À Priori” and “À Posteriori”
  • Immanuel Kant’s writing on metaphysics
  • Semiotics
  • Following false prophets in our patriarchal society
  • Their residency in Rome in 2014 where they started creating ceramic sculptures and where they created their body of work entitled, “Into The Looking Glass” @ C.R.E.T.A. Rome.
  • The Medusa in symbolizm
  • The extinguishing of female powers by the patriarchy
  • Their decision into why they decided to get an MFA
  • Teaching her university students about gender, equality, and diversity
  • Making ideas palatable in art
  • “Find a way to make work no matter what”

Authors and Book Recommendations: Artists Mentioned:
Films and Documentaries Mentioned:

Posted 1.24.2022


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino