N.H. Art Association artist Hannah Joy Hopkins at the Art Center Dover in Dover, NH
Now on exhibition at the Dover Art Center is Heart Matters: an exploration of complexity, duality, and the intangible properties of emotions. Based in Concord, NH, Hopkins crafts her paintings on canvas using acrylic, ink, and paper collage. The multilayered result, which resembles encaustic wax paintings, displays a variety of fruits and flowers that symbolize the emotional matters of the heart. The symbols borrowed from Greek mythology, religion, and language display the complex and often conflicting nature of emotions. What does a broken heart look like? Can we get to the heart of the matter? Is pride good or bad? Can it be both? Hopkins is a lifelong New Hampshire resident and an accomplished scenic designer. In 2017, she won the Best Scenic Design award from the New Hampshire Theater Award Association. She was struck with inspiration for "Heart Matters" while learning how to talk to kids about their emotions. The needs of the heart often cause children to act out: hurt turns to anger, unmet needs into loss, etc. In the series, Hopkins physically explores these feelings through fruit and flora. "I literally stuck my thumbs in the middle of the tomato and pulled it apart," she said. The result is a series of six beautiful paintings that display the carnage of emotion and relationships in a multi-layered mixed-media collage. Viewers will witness macerated tomatoes, torn-apart roses, layered onions, pulverized pomegranates, and a dignified amaryllis. In religion and mythology, the pomegranate symbolizes the heart, and the amaryllis epitomizes pride. A torn-apart onion hints at wordplay as Hopkins looks at the layered complexity of feelings. "These symbolize the process of relationships," she says. "Sometimes there is damage, but there is beauty in that damage."
The Art Center will display the works until April 30. They are hosting a reception on Saturday, April 1, from 6 pm to 9 pm.
The public is welcome. Please visit the Art Center at 1 Washington Street, Suite 1177, Dover, NH.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Visit www.nhartassociation.org or call 603-978-6702 for more information.