Up in Smoke
In her upcoming solo exhibition Up in Smoke at Punch Projects Carolyn Hopkins will be showing work focused on the rapidly changing landscape of the American West. Carolyn’s practice focuses on her concurrently vulnerable and dependent relationships to the landscape around her through which she creates video, photography, drawing, and sculpture. These works operate as gestures of simultaneous surrender and defiance. Hopkins’ work is often made from the viewpoint of the end in order to re-examine our current political and ecological landscapes, as well as the rise of solastalgia, or the distress that is produced by environmental change people experience while they are directly connected to their home environment.
In Hopkins’ new video piece Slow Burn, she explores her deep grief over the accelerating climate crisis, as well as her interest in dismantling patriarchal tropes of the American West. Carolyn rides her horse in tight circles inside of a 150-year-old hay barn with active forest fires nearby. Her shirt is covered in tiny mirrors, much like a disco ball. As she spins it reflects the woefully discolored and diffused sunlight around the space. Paired with an instrumental composition reminiscent of spaghetti westerns, Carolyn quite literally dons a cowboy hat and performs within the space. This piece addresses the urgency of our time by utilizing beauty and spectacle and placing it against a backdrop of our new frightening reality.
When it feels as though there is nothing to be done, we dance.
Carolyn Hopkins holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. She is a co-founder and active member of Carnation Contemporary where she shows her work annually.
Carolyn has collaborated with Mark Dion and has been an Artist in Residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, the Vermont Studio Center, Caldera, Brush Creek, Mildred’s Lane, Leland Ironworks, Sou’wester Arts, and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Carolyn lives and works in Lyle, Washington on her 20-acre ranch and studio.