Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finding Home, Press Release

Square Room Gallery To Host Finding Home, a Solo Exhibition by Seattle Artist, Jason Hallman
Exhibition opens Dec. 8, 2011 and will feature paintings and sculpture inspired by a journey of the heart

Square Room Gallery is pleased to announce Finding Home, part painting and part sculpture. This installation by Seattle artist Jason Hallman was inspired by a journey of the heart. Hallman has established a distinct visual vernacular through his unique mix of convention and techniques, through his dynamic use of materials that draw the viewer in.

Located at Square Room Gallery at 910 East Pike Street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the exhibition will run from Dec. 8 to Dec. 11, 2011. There will be an opening reception on Dec. 8, 2011 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Hallman perceives paint, wood, wire and other reclaimed objects as materials rich in a familiar connotation and significance. Wood, paint and selected reclaimed pieces have long been relied upon as a primary source of building materials for shelter. Hallman utilizes the materials' loaded meaning to express “container consciousness.”
Its composition tells a story. Where is home? Where is true happiness found? Hallman has been asking these questions all of his life. He has lived in 29 places in 39 years. Was it a physical location, something he could see with his eyes, some goal to achieve? His layered imagery is imbued with movement and a revolutionary spirit. From afar, Finding Home is reminiscent of a toy house which appears to be simplistic in structure and reference. It is only when you place yourself amongst the complex compositions that this journey of the heart begins. 
Finding Home uses the home as a narrative departure point and a place of exploration. In 2010, Hallman visited the Island of Hawai'i. Having been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai, he decided to explore the Big Island where the lava has been flowing since 1983. After exploring some of the island he found himself in Kalapana, on the coast near the lava flow that has created some of the newest land on earth. This one-week trip in September 2010 prompted a second six-week trip two months later, and this six-week trip evolved into a six-month personal spiritual journey. "It found me" Hallman says, "there was something unexplainable." Hallman liked to travel and usually would take a week or two and was not in the habit of taking six-week trips, let alone six-months! Was it the land, the community or something else? He lived in an area with many spiritually conscious people, some incorporating Eastern philosophy into their daily lives. There was no cell phone service, hotels, restaurants or shops in the area. There was one small black sand beach that you hike down a cliff to get to. New life emerges as the sacred Ohia trees grow right out of the lava that once flowed.
This odyssey led Hallman down a path of re-learning how to navigate life. When we are born, we know how to feel our way through, yet almost as a matter of cultural survival we must quickly learn to think rather than feel. We are rewarded with grades on our report card, A is for excellence. Hallman's works exist in the midst of a similar physical and psychological exploration. Through the simple shape of a house there’s a sense of sanctuary, a place of refuge. The installation functions less as a literal dramatization of his experience than an obtuse homage to the universal truths inherent in each one of us. Hallman worked with spiritual teachers, befriending many in the community, meeting and working with a Kahuna (a Hawaiian healer), Harry Jim; and he participated in several all-day ceremonies. "Harry Jim taught me many things," Hallman says. "All of this helped open my eyes to what I could not see, what had always been there and I now can feel and reveal. The Kahuna said to me 'you are enough!' just for being an act of creation. He said this with such conviction, those three words, as it was the truth." The tears flowed, Hallman felt a release, a letting go - and parts of himself started to awaken. Many of us have had challenging childhoods and life experience. Hallman learned that these experiences can lead to our greatest learning and work. So instead of being resentful, blaming, avoiding or angry, he became grateful, where there is no room to be right or wrong. He learned about Love, that it is unconditional, without limits and accepts everything as it is and everyone just as we are. Hallman poetically reconsiders this contemporary idea of Home through a kaleidoscope of personal, historical and allegorical references to present an exhibition that eschews time.
Hallman's compositions using scraps and pieces, reflect life drifting in and out and the ineffable feeling of home. He now sees that there is no destination or end point, only the journey, which is counter to popular Western culture, yet universal in who we are. 
Jason Hallman has lived in the Seattle area for the last 18 years. He is an artist of life, whose medium is life itself. His art embraces challenging the norm, exploring and inventing his own approach of expression. He believes we are all artists of being alive. With a child-like curiosity, he knows he does not know what's next. Staying present in the moment allows for freedom and that is where he expects the miracles and magic will happen. As a member of the community, as an artist, it is his intention to share his experiences and his work, all of which are a manifestation of gratitude. 

For more information:
Exhibit location:  Square Room Gallery 910 East Pike St. Seattle 98122 on        Capitol Hill.
Phone: 206.947.4422

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