Sarah Haviland's sculptures and installations have been exhibited widely in galleries, parks, museums, healthcare, and educational settings, including commissions at the Flatiron Prow Art Space in NYC; Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ; Pratt Sculpture Park in Brooklyn; NYU Langone Medical Center; and the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Taiwan. In Fall 2018, she spent five months in Taiwan with a US Fulbright Scholar Award, investigating human-bird composite imagery in religion, folklore, and popular culture. Honors include a Creativity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, fellowships from the New York and New Jersey State Arts Councils, and residencies at Sculpture Space, Skowhegan, and Yaddo. Sarah Haviland earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from Hunter College, and maintains a studio in the Lower Hudson Valley.
I engage with the human impulse to project ourselves onto nature, encouraging identification and empathy. My goal is to synthesize and share human-avian hybrid visions of connection, to promote contemplation of our important bonds with nature, especially in a world of migrations, endangered species, and global climate threats.
My artwork focuses on human-bird connections and bird myths around the world, in the context of our conflicted response to the environment. While my semi-figurative sculptures have long been inspired by natural forms such as trees and the female body, the subject has become more urgent. My current work in drawing, sculpture, and installation explores human-bird composite beings and human-avian bonds, recalling mythological winged figures related to the soul. Inspired by stories and images from many world cultures, these hybrid beings incorporate archetypal and psychological content familiar from religion and fairy tales.
Seeking resonance, I aim for concentrated images in surprising materials that address contemporary life. In my sculptures I use common hardware-store wire mesh, found objects, and recycled materials. Using tinsnips and pliers and techniques borrowed from sewing, metalwork, and paper craft, I turn common construction-grade materials into delicate, volumetric drawings in space. For some projects, I construct with local organic materials like bamboo or branches to integrate with nature. Often, I synthesize images and stories of bird-people with reference to specific regional birds and local myths.
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