For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendy Malloy,
SAM Public Relations
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM UNVEILS NEW INSTALLATION AT OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK BY SEATTLE ARTIST HEATHER HART
The Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother, 2013 June 22–October 13, 2013 PACCAR Pavilion, Olympic Sculpture Park
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency known as a spiritually powerful intermediary with prophetic ability to access insightful life altering information. The legends of an oracle are passed down from generation to generation. In much the same away the method of building a roof was passed to Hart by her father.
"I want my work to act as a catalyst to help a visitor reclaim their belief in their own power,"said Hart. "The Roof is an amalgam of distorted traditions and symbols, bequeathed and mashed up to fit a cultural need. An oracle gives guidance and truth. It is in a contemporary human’s nature to want to have an influence on their future, and to want to believe in something outside of themselves."
"I could not be more thrilled to bring one of Seattle’s own back to our region to present this site specific work that is already igniting public participation. It has been deeply rewarding to work on a project with such aesthetic magnetism and communal consideration," said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Adjunct Curator in Modern and Contemporary Art | Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs at the Seattle Art Museum.
Hart's Western Oracle is connected to a growing network of interactive installations or rooftop oracles installed in different parts of the world where the artist reclaims personal and collective legacies while creating space for participants to explore the meaning and power of truth.
Structurally sound in its architectural framework, the artist's sculptures are designed to elicit public engagement. "People may climb the shingled rooftop or crouch down and
enter its ground-level attic." Within Hart's grounded attic spaces is the heart of the oracle. In the artist’s Eastern Oracle, as in a Buddhist temple, a participant could make an offering in exchange for their wish.
"The 'shrine' in the Western Oracle is influenced by local First Nations and Japanese legacies," said Hart. "A visitor is invited to approach a window that looks out onto the Puget Sound and sit under a chimney that looks into the sky. The window is framed in a wall that acts as a drum, referencing local histories and providing means for a sound exchange as prayer, ritual, expression and fun."
Hart is a Seattleite living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She studied at Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), Princeton University and received her MFA from Rutgers University.
Hart's work has been exhibited worldwide including Brooklyn Museum, Real Art Ways, 92YTribeca, Jersey City Museum, NYU Galleries, 2B Gallery in Budapest, Rush Arts Gallery, Portland Art Center, Soil Art Gallery, Islip Art Museum, Museum of Art and Craft in Japan, and Art in General. She has collaborated in pieces by Pablo Helguera and Raphael Ortiz. Her work has been included in exhibitions curated by Kara Walker, Fred Wilson, Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas.
Hart has been an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Santa Fe Art Institute, Franconia Sculpture Park, and the Whitney Independent Study Program. She received awards from Socrates Sculpture Park as part of their Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2006, from New York Foundation of the Arts for their NYFA Fellowship in 2009, and a Jerome Travel Grant in 2011.