Harmony Hammond is quirky, angsty, and serious all at once. Her talk was very inspiring and educational for women artists and the lesbian community. I especially liked her method of deconstructing the conceptual base to her paintings, particularly the ones that referenced skin, bodies, and both a physical and conceptual binding and entrapment. As my current work also uses the physicality of a 2d medium to conceptually reference bodies, skin, wounds, scars and scabs to inspire an emotional response and personal reflection, I was immediately intrigued to hear more about Harmony's conceptual intentions. After listening to her talk in its entirety, I found myself both pleased and disappointed by her work. I loved her attention to detail, even within abstraction. Each strip of fabric, smear of paint, and small grommet whole had a conceptual purpose that reflected her thoughts and opinions on female identity and the expectations and challenges of women artists. With an intaglio printmaking background myself, and a strong conceptual base to my own work, I fully appreciate the physical and conceptual purpose of each and every small component in Harmony's works. With that said, i did not have near as strong of an attraction to her work prior to hearing her speak. Not that her work is not good or can't hold its own weight, but it seemed to lack the necessary cues or conceptual hints in order to lead her viewer into the meaning of her work as she described it in her lecture. Overall I think Harmony has come very far since her graduation form the University of Minnesota and her work is both an inspiration and a milestone for female artists. However, personally, her work does not inspire and intrigue near as much as her informative talk about her work does.
Bryn R Gleason