Art Talk: Sonja Hinrichsen
Yampa Valley artist in residence Sonja Hinrichsen gives a free talk and slide show, “Interventive Art Projects in the Environment."
Sonja Hinrichsen is an environmental artist who first came to Steamboat Springs via a Colorado Art Ranch residency at The Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch. She returns this winter for a series of landscape and community-inspired art events in the Yampa Valley. She kicks off her 2012 visit with a library talk introducing a wide range of art installations she has created all over the world, including a recent residency in China.
Hinrichsen creates enormous snow drawings. What's a snow drawing? Check them out here. After you hear her talk, experience some of her art in person over the following two weeks:
- Hinrichsen will lead two community snow drawings at the Carpenter Ranch near Hayden, on Sunday, Jan. 29, and Saturday, Feb. 4. Volunteers will use snowshoes under the artist's direction to create landscape-scale snow drawings along the river and in the ranch haymeadows. For more information, or to sign up to volunteer, contact the Steamboat Springs Arts Council at 970.879.9008. You can also sign up to participate during the artist's talk at the library.
- Hinrichsen will lead a community snow drawing in West Lincon Park, across the street from the library, on Friday, Jan. 27.
- Hinrichsen is featured in group show of emerging artists at The Depot called "Snow/Crystal: Intricacy, Impermanence, and Influence.” The opening reception is Thursday, Jan. 26, from 5-8 p.m. at the Depot, and the exhibit continues throughout the following month. Contact the Steamboat Springs Arts Council for more information.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Sonja Hinrichsen's Artist Statement
My artworks are art/research projects in which I examine urban, industrial and natural environments. I am interested in the intersection between place (city/industrial areas or rural/natural environments) and human perception and utilization thereof, throughout history. My work methods include photo- and video-mapping, recording sounds, taking notes, interviewing people, as well as traditional research (historical/societal or cultural/ecological/geological). I am especially interested in local mythologies handed down through generations, such as the stories told by Native Americans. Typically these stories bear invaluable information about alternative lifestyles in/with these environments. Although my projects often have a documentary-like character, they draw from a very personal focus as they base on my experiences and perceptions of places. I find that my awareness is particularly strong in places yet unfamiliar to me.
With the summary of the audio-visual materials and information collected I create media installations with multiple video projections, sound collages and narrative (spoken word or text within the projections). It is important to me to give my audience an opportunity to immerse themselves in a surround installation experience. While using beautiful, seductive imagery, it is important to me that my work reaches beyond the mere beauty of art, and also stimulates reflection. As an artist I feel the responsibility to direct attention to subject matters our society neglects or denies, including adverse impacts to the natural environment, social inequality and injustice, and human exploitation.
Lately my works have often included interventions or rituals that I perform in the environment. These are documented photographically and on video, which then becomes i ntegrated in media installations. The traces left in the environment are non-permanent and any evidence will be erased by nature. While I like to unfold my work in large immersive experiences using digital media, I am not interested in creating lasting art pieces, as I believe that our world is over-saturated with man-made products. However, as an environmentalist I hope that I can inspire appreciation and awe for our natural world.