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Bridging the Gap:

New Art Exhibit Opens Up Visual Dialogue

In this technological age, we find ourselves increasingly confined by a cyber-bubble seldomly wishing to be bothered by human interactions. The fact that the term in real life even exists seems shocking. Even as I write in my pajamas, away from a workroom, it s clear the lack of in-person connection assuredly leaves a mark on society. Art serves as a beacon of hope for this growing epidemic, as it has the power to force us out of our virtual worlds, to examine ourselves and reconnect with nature.

Diane Hause, a New York native, moved to Wilmington almost 40 years ago. Currently living in Ivanhoe on Black River, she operates a prominent gallery, 2TEN HAUSTUDIO. While attending UNCW, Hause studied with Claude Howell and credits him for her theorist knowledge and vivid use of color. After obtaining her MFA from UC Santa Barbara, she has lived and taught in Baltimore, Tampa and Atlanta, and only returned to Wilmington in 2010.

Using mixed media, Hause exhibits works that force introspection and examine other cultures. Inspired by dreams, her work connects to the current of human existence something that she has unveiled personally while in the throes of creation.

I have discovered a sensation of clear awareness and acknowledgement to Existence and Existing while painting, Hause elaborates. This usually contains a sense of well-being, [a] feeling that things are the way they are meant to be. This sensation of well-being can be sustained at great lengths during the creative process. I can t think of anything that pleases me more.

Hause tries to stay in tune with feelings or hunches, and lets them influence her work. Occurring as a synchronistic event, a coincidence or a foretelling dream dictates her hand. She describes listening as a restlessness she can t ignore something which only ceases when she expresses it. Hause derives most of her subject matter from synchronicity and mythological concepts.

These interests lend themselves to some of the symbolism and archetypal imagery that finds its way into my work, she edifies. My paintings tend to reference the history of civilization while seeking a coalition between these meaning-laden symbols of ancient and modern times. I wish to reinforce a sense of timelessness, while allowing the viewer the opportunity to make his or her own connection between the past and present.

Each concept culminates in a visual dialogue that, while meaning something different to everyone, fosters familiarity. One painting on display at the exhibition is entitled Quest s for the Echo s Source. First devised in 2004, the 8 x 16-foot work was created after the devastating tsunami hit the Indian Ocean and many coastal cities surrounding it. Hause was inspired to bring this piece out of storage after the typhoon hit the Philippines last fall. She hopes it will resonate, again drawing a connection between past and present.

The wave is derived from Japanese woodblock prints of Hokusai s giant wave, the central figures showcase a grieving mother and father who have lost a child. The mother s body is in the shape of a canoe and echoes traditional Madonna and child images from religious iconography. By making the mother a canoe, there is a sense of passage from life to another. Women are vessels for their child s life, and in this tragic scenario, for transporting the soul to the world beyond.

Hause is trying to engage people with their environment. Showing the interconnection between all living organisms in the sea or across international borders, the pain of human activity, suffering and vibrancy is universally experienced.

— Sarah Richter, Encore magazine
Published January 7, 2014

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