Caroline Hatfield, Field Research, 2018, digital photography

Caroline Hatfield: Unearthing
May 25 – July 15

Opening Reception: Friday, May 25th
7 – 9 pm | Gallery Talk at 7:30 pm

 Target Gallery will be closed in observance of Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4th.  


 Target Gallery presents work by our 2018 Solo Exhibition winner. Caroline Hatfield’s Unearthing is on view from Friday, May 25 through Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Jury panel for this exhibition was: Jarvis DuBois, Independent Curator; Carolina Mayorga, D.C.-based Artist; and Victoria Reis, Director of Transformer.

“I explore concepts of utopia and science fiction through the experience of landscape and materiality in my interdisciplinary practice. Sculptural landscapes composed of industrial relics, geological formations, and mutable material obscure boundaries and accumulate into form. The combined objects and materials emanate an energy of transformation and process, often with a cyclical quality. Depicting elemental ground and geological force, my work references the sublime experiences of our world while shifting outwards towards a science fictional sublime. Foreign but familiar, the models, miniatures, and depictions of alternative worlds offer a glimpse of potential found in the balance of presence and absence.

The work of this exhibition presents the idea of unearthing in a literal, metaphorical, and speculative sense. To literally unearth asks: what are we uncovering? We dig deeper beneath the surface to find history, time, and energy. As a metaphor, the act of unearthing often refers to finding an illusive, hidden substance or truth. Finally, we could consider “un-earthing” in a speculative sense as we look at our future beyond earth. Our potential is becoming less tethered to this planet through scientific advancement and ecological destruction.

As an artist using imagery and concepts involving landscape, I am aware of the automatic reference to environmentalism and land use. Growing up in a Southern Appalachian coal mining community, I often recall the region’s ironic juxtaposition of protected wilderness and mined land as a major influence on my work. My installations are fictional world building, using landscape as a medium to explore ideas of science fiction and utopia. However, good science fiction appears fantastical on the surface, while functioning as a lens to look within at our present day and re-contextualize current circumstances. I hope that the sub-narrative of land use and value is one the viewer may unearth from the glimmering, precious matter of my work. To do this, I reference several modes of the sublime: the human, industrial sublime that transforms our surroundings in irreversible ways, nature’s sublime that manifests in our experience of geological time or vast vistas, and the future sublime of expanding possibilities, the infinity of space, and innumerable worlds. We are long overdue to examine our relationship to land in terms of resources, environmental preservation, and colonialism. I hope my work may expose the romanticism, limits, and crudeness of these subjects, but also the potential for reform, awareness, and new possibilities.”

– Caroline Hatfield

About the Artist

Caroline Hatfield is a visual artist based in Baltimore, Maryland. They recently earned a MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Art at Towson University, Towson, MD and previously received a BFA in Sculpture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

Target Gallery

 Target Gallery is the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center. We host eight exhibitions annually featuring a variety of themes, artists, and media focused on the latest trends in contemporary art.

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