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Kayla Hanson

Sunder
36″x 48″
Oil on canvas

Thanks for the Beauty
60″ x 48″
Oil on Canvas

Where will we go?
Oil on wood
48″ x 60″ (diptych)

Growing up in Idaho, I have always been concerned witnessing the treatment of our beautiful landscapes. As a child, my mom always had a rule when we would go camping and hiking; to pick up at least one piece of trash; essentially packing out more than we packed in. It became somewhat of a trash treasure hunt for us. Today the trash and dumping that I come across; is so ubiquitous that it has almost become integrated into the landscape. These lands that I love are also being flattened out, sage is violently ripped up, and the destruction of animal habitat is causing displacement in order to meet the demands of our ever-growing population. Once the land is ripped apart, only our memories of its tranquility will remain.

My body of work aims to highlight the dramatic beauty of our Idaho high deserts while exposing the impact of the trash that has become a part of these spaces. I am asking the viewer to visually grapple with what was once; versus what is gone due to land development.  Color is important to my process. By paying attention to the way light reflects off an object outdoors and dances across the landscape, I show the colors that are overlooked in nature just as often as the trash is. The inspiration of expressionist landscape artists lead me to use layers of paint to create textures that bring out the nature of  the native flora. The layering of paint takes on a double meaning in the layering of litter that has been embedded into the land. Bringing the two points of emphasis together, I hope to evoke an urgency with this issue. No landscape is pristine, and it is important to me to shed light on this situation.