Hannah Pierce

Artist Statement

My work consists of surreal, narrative-driven sculptures that primarily portray bizarre characters and various elements from urban environments. Within my playful, architectural configurations, I utilize deceptive, illustrative qualities and exaggerative forms to distort the viewer’s perspective and enhance the theatrical nature of these narrative works. The distortions create an absurd, disorienting space that offers the viewer a more physical experience.

These uncanny structures are usually accompanied by weathered surfaces, references to smog, unknown fluids, and other depictions of urban detritus. The characters within these dismal spaces appear to be struggling with their perplexing surroundings. I tend to use visual metaphors that recognize our dependency upon man-made environments and our desperate attempts to conform to living in such unnatural conditions. Within all my sculptures, the figures are visually separate from their surroundings in their illustrative, 2-dimensional format. This separation personifies an underlying tension and a sense of estrangement that everyone in our contemporary society can relate to.

Being heavily influenced by Pop Surrealism, I sarcastically pair dismal scenes with pleasurable pops of color, playful perspectives, figure distortion, and many childlike references. In my most recent works, there is an obvious focus on addictions and habits, with an emphasis on oral fixations. Although these are adult issues, I draw attention to childlike qualities when pertaining to concepts of excess, lack of self-control, and escapism. Within these works, I can bring a sense of humor and absurdity to some of the darker, more challenging aspects of being human in unstable, perpetually changing environments.

-- Hannah Pierce


Hannah Pierce is a ceramic sculptor and mixed media artist as well as the current Abilities Fellowship Artist at Baltimore Clayworks. She received her MFA in Ceramics from Edinboro University of PA and her BA in Studio Art at Humboldt State University of CA. Before graduate school, Hannah worked as an educator for people with developmental disabilities at The Studio and Cheri Blackerby Gallery, located in Eureka, California. Within Hannah’s work, her background in illustration, painting, and printmaking has allowed her to incorporate experimental surfaces and an abundance of loaded imagery. She has exhibited her work nationally in exhibitions such as The Clay Studio National as well as the Graduate Student Biennial, the 50th and the 52nd Annual NCECA National Student Juried Exhibition, and the Workhouse Arts Center’s 6th Annual Workhouse Clay International where she received the award, “Best of Show”. She was also awarded a Full Kiln God scholarship as a resident at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts.