In 1990 I built a live-in studio in the woods of Vashon Island, Washington. Living amongst the trees provoked an enduring interest in working with wood. What fascinates me is the emotional resonance of spatial forms– the way art takes one beyond the object itself. I have an affinity with South and Southeast Asia and have studied and wandered extensively there, finding an immediacy in my encounters with both tribal and classical art, and of course, life itself. I begin a carving with a definite vision, but once a piece is underway it awakens a process of listening and watching. This is what is exciting. I like to make images that offer intimacy and yet sustain an ambiguous mystery. My current body of work explores relation-ships between fragility and unity.

    I began experimenting with paper and light in the mid eighties which led to making light sculpture. Light and layered paper evoke a warm, festive feel. Working with beautiful handmade and antique paper, I like the unexpected effect of depth with overlapping edges. My travels have led to wonderful finds, such as delicate paper made alongside a river in Laos, and more commonly found incense wrappings.
    Currently I am using acrylic panels for contemporary wood-frame lanterns. Acrylic lends itself to multiple applications that can be layered and removed for an interesting play with light.

Elaine Hanowell