Shawn Marie Hardy
Shawn Marie Hardy
Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s is something I’m often thankful for. Television was my favourite babysitter while my parents were busy and shows like The Twilight Zone, Land Of The Giants, One Step Beyond, The Avengers, and numerous horror films helped shape my love of the macabre. Add to that books like Alice in Wonderland, 1984, and anything Ray Bradbury or Zenna Henderson, combined with childhood memories of communal living in a San Francisco warehouse, and my path to Dada and Surrealism seemed destined.
I have 4.5 years of university education but rather than strive for a degree, I chose classes I wanted. I drew, painted, wrote essays and poetry, and dissected eyeballs, but I was not much for following rules. I also had the attention span of a housefly and it was very hard to finish projects, let alone start them. When I discovered collage I found that the instant gratification from juxtaposing a few images cut out of old magazines, and arranged to resemble an old B movie still, was as satisfying as it was freeing. I could make things look terrifying, humorous, and beautiful in the same short amount of time–something I’ve struggled with when painting. A fairly recent ADD diagnosis was a revelation that explained much about my creative process. I’m currently trying to be less literal and more abstract in my work. I was the kid who always had to colour within the lines, but collage emboldens me and forces me out of my comfort zone.
Michigan-born artist Shawn Marie Hardy moved to Brooklyn in 1988 and took her first art lessons privately through her uncle, kinetic artist Mark Esper. She furthered her studies at City College of San Francisco and LCC in Lansing, Michigan. She is also a perpetual student of art and art history through her own self-education.
Shawn has had numerous group and solo exhibits in the United States and abroad, most recently participating in Dada Lives, a centennial celebration of Dada, at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash Gallery. She has received several accolades through the online art group, EBSQ. In 2013, her artwork won a silver medal at the Australian International Beer Awards after being featured on the bottle of a Southern Bay Brewing Company saison. She was featured on the Michigan Regional Comcast television show, Meet The Artist, and was a finalist in Nancy Grace’s “Extraordinary Parent” contest for her collaborative art project, Honor With Art.
Shawn’s work is found in several publications including MetaDada: The International Journal of Dada Mining, Golf Sayings: Wit And Wisdom of A Long Walk Spoiled, and Blackmail Press. Shawn also writes poetry and short stories, plays bass guitar, and writes songs–she was in the New Zealand band Dating Godot, circa 1990s.
Shawn currently lives in Eugene, Oregon and spends as much time amongst the trees as possible. She is inspired by Dada and Surrealism, nature, coffee, dreams, nostalgia, and her daugher, Ella. When she’s not collaging, she’s painting or repurposing found objects into art.