Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Megan Heeres (Cranbrook)

When We Thought Stronger, 2007
Fabric, thread, wood, air bladder

My name is Megan Heeres, and I was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. I went to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and then moved to Portland, Oregon for five years, where I’ve been living since. But I’ve come back to Michigan to graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

I make installations, sculptures, and books that are concerned with the interior. I’m really fascinated with the interior of our bodies, of mechanical things, of organisms, and sort of in my work attempt to draw those out and make them much larger. It’s sort of interesting the microcosm and macrocosm and where those intersect. So that’s what I explore in my work.

I’ve always made art. Growing up, my mom was a Montessori teacher, and so I was always working with my hands and always encouraged to make things. It hasn’t been until recently, the last few years that I’ve considered myself an artist. Even when I was studying at the University of Michigan, I was very involved with the community aspect of art making. I created my own degree called Health Studies in the arts that was concerned with art therapy primarily. So I was interested in using art as a tool for psychological and social and community well-being. And I’ve done a lot of that, but I was finding out that I was really interested myself, with my own hands. I started my own exploration through things like collage and drawing. Instead of gluing and conventional ways of combining materials, I used the stitch, and became really enamored with the way that it could combine incongruous materials together. I started off making very two-dimensional work, but then using the stitch was able to build in a 3-D way of making work, and so my work has gone from two-dimensional to sculptural and installation. And now since I’ve been back at Cranbrook, it has kind of gone back into two-dimensional sort of work. Because I think it’s a way for me to make sense of the way that I’m working. That’s the reason why I’m at Cranbrook – is to understand the work that I’m making and also the processes that I’m using. Why am I making the work that I’m making, and what are the processes that make that work the most successful that it can be.

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