Thus the sensitive and rational motions do oftentimes cross and oppose each other: for, although several parts are united in one body, yet are they not always bound to agree to one action; nor can it be otherwise; for, were there no disagreement between them, there would be no irregularities, and consequently no pain or sickness, nor no dissolution of any natural figure.
Margaret Cavendish discussing the interaction of knowledge and perception among different parts of the body. Observations upon Experimental Philosophy 1666
Hannah Greely shows a rare skill in creating lifelike, realistic sculptures of simple objects. However, it is from the subtle irregularities or alterations that she introduces that the works gain their strangely emotional charge. The quiet ordinariness of most of her subject matter lends a sense of familiarity, which in itself heightens our sensitivity to those discomforting differences.
The Budweiser bottles which are strewn in the gallery are cast and painstakingly hand painted. The individuality thereby bestowed on these mass-produced, throwaway objects is further pointed by various touches, both succinct and somehow lyrical – a draped washcloth, an encrustation of dirt, a string carried aloft by a tiny fly. With these small changes Greely is able to differentiate the bottles almost to the point of personality or anthropomorphism, as is reflected in their titles – all first names. The coco-fiber doormat is the product of a residency Greely spent in Thailand. The form of a dog sprawls comfortably on the mat, formed of the same material and seemingly rising out of it. Again, two things we might literally step over – the doormat and the sleeping dog – become an arresting image together and a study in material and craft.
Hannah Greely lives and works in Los Angeles. She will be in the upcoming show THING: New Art from Los Angeles at the Armand Hammer Museum, CA.