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Hannah Lee Scott on 'Close Encounters'

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Torin Andersen
/
KMUW

A Wichita artist uses a mixture of odd shapes to explore personal discovery and relationships.

Most people probably associate the name Close Encounters with the Steven Spielberg movie from the late ‘70s. This month's First Friday artist is borrowing that title to explore personal discovery and how we interact with others. Hannah Lee Scott is known for her true-to-life graphite drawings. She’s now adding spray paint to her works, a process that Scott says feels a bit … alien.

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Torin Andersen
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KMUW

Scott: "Close Encounters - all of the pieces that I'm making have these weird shapes in them. They take on different forms. Some of 'em are softer. Some of 'em are more aggressive or violent feeling. There's a figure in everyone also, an actual human figure. So it's this human figure, interacting with these shapes and these shapes in my mind, they are emotions, feelings, experiences, embodied in these different forms. They do feel kind of alien. They are kind of this world that represents parts of us that we don't know about ourselves or about others, how we react and interact with them.

"So this piece has these two kind of shapes. One is this more flesh colored, very soft kind of organic shape that has these curves. The other is this very sharp and dark three pointed shape that's piercing this more soft shape. In my head they are figures, they embody something in my mind. And so in between those two shapes there's a graphite rendered face kind of looking through this peephole at the interaction that these shapes are having. These drawings in the show are all of photos of myself.

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Torin Andersen
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KMUW

"So the moment <laugh> after I've planned everything out, That's the scariest part. I will start it and just, I kind of just go until it's completely finished. Like I'll work all day. The majority of the work is drawing with the graphite.  Then the spray paint is like the quickest part of these pieces, but it's the most kind of, uh, like haphazard. It's just over in like 15 minutes and then the piece is done suddenly <laugh> and the most stressful anxiety inducing part of the whole thing is kind of this culmination of all of these hours kind of hinged on this very stressful moment at the end.

"So that process of just sitting and drawing for hours and hours, that like you hear that word like flow state or, or you know, that term and that is true. I really can't explain like what it does for me, but I feel better afterwards and I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It's cathartic for me, uh, to make it, but I want it to also hopefully matter to someone else."

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Torin Andersen
/
KMUW

You can see Close Encounters from 6 - 8 p.m. on September 2nd at Harvester Arts.

Torin Andersen is KMUW's Digital Archivist & Engineer. He has more than 20 years of experience shaping and documenting the arts in Wichita.