Hannah Lee CameronHelena, Montana


Originally from North Carolina, Hannah Lee Cameron attained two Bachelor’s degrees in ceramics while living in Kentucky – a BA in from Berea College and a BFA from the University of Louisville. In 2011, she left Kentucky to further pursue her career as an artist. Hannah served as a summer studio-manager for two consecutive summers at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, and returned to Watershed as a resident the following year. After receiving a Post-Baccalaureate certificate from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, she earned an MFA from Ohio University in 2015. After her graduate studies Hannah moved to Helena, Montana for a two-year residency at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts. She is currently a long-term resident at Studio 740, also in Helena.

My work portrays disjointed, isolated and often nonsensical narratives involving human and animal interactions. I see these bizarre narratives much like the contents of dreams, which often contain such strong content that the dreamer cannot dismiss them, even after waking. This can be especially true with dreams spawned from anxiety and unease. Dreams can temporarily fulfill wishes, unlock the subconscious, exposing our inner desires, fears, frustrations and longing for things we lack. Sleep is a time and space for susceptibility as well as fantasy and imagination.

Through absurd combinations of figures, objects and materials, I investigate the ways that objects change meaning depending on their context. By pairing confrontational imagery with the familiar, I aim to attract and repel simultaneously. Surrealism is a great source of inspiration to me, because its artists combine figures with seemingly disparate objects in curious and confusing ways, evoking the union of dream state and reality. Often grotesque and inexplicable narratives reveal themselves within individual sculptures as well as from piece to piece, creating a series of encounters for the viewer that are both fascinating and disturbing. I employ humor in my work as a coping mechanism for the anxiety of daily life – finding humor in the inappropriate is a way to reappraise negative scenarios from alternative, less menacing angles. If we can laugh at a situation, our anxiety seems to subside, if only momentarily.