Artist Statement                Artworks                

Imagine It Thick In Your Own Hair

We have come to accept and live with the fact that the world is seriously wounded, and even now, when it is bleeding to death before our eyes, we are largely content to put the matter into the hands of the doctors, the experts who we believe are taking care of such things. But the whole technological complex and our relationship to it, as Heidegger pointed out long ago, is the problem, not the solution. Human beings acting in human ways, concerned, involved, aware, are the solution.

Imagine It Thick In Your Own Hair was intended to make people aware of the tragedy and motivate them to help clean up the disaster BP created.

Pouring oil and tar over dead birds, opossums, rats, mice, moles, or whatever I found by the side of the road or in the trash bins of pet stores, and which I had first preserved using taxidermy techniques, I created scenes of dead animals enmired in black viscosity to give viewers an intimate feeling for the way the spill in the Gulf of Mexico has doomed and destroyed wildlife. It is difficult to not look away when you see an actual animal suffering, but in showing the effects if not the process, I felt that I at least put the harsh truth as directly in front of the viewer and as unmitigated by distance as I could. As in all my work, my materials were animals that had already died – sometimes by means that are just as ethically problematic as the mass torture and slaughter of those we raise for food and clothing, or which are collateral casualties of our greed – but I somehow feel that the fact that they have been put to some purpose, a dignified one, I hope, confers some measure of redemption upon them.

Heide Hatry, 2010