I’m handing the Sharpie blog over to one of our Squad members today! Sure you love my writing…but it’s refreshing to get a new voice on the blog. every so often. For the next several months, (almost every Wednesday) I will pass the blog torch to one of our inspiring, super cool, muy interesante (sí sí) Squad members, giving them the chance to do basically whatever they want with the Sharpie Blog! In doing so, I hope to give the Sharpie Squad yet another creative outlet, while also allowing you the opportunity to get to know each & every one of them a little better.
Now that you’ve gotten the rundown, let’s kick this thing into gear. Sound the trumpets, turn on the bat signal, alert the media - our first-ever guest blogger, Hanna Agar is on stage! Hanna is a 2nd year Squad member, is extremely creative & talented and… how about we hand the mic over to Hanna to tell you the rest - Take it away Miss Agar! *(Warning you might be blown away by what you are about to see.)
Hi! I’m Hanna Agar!
Here is a little bit about me…
I am labeled a photographer, but I would like to think that I am more than that. I am a craftsman, a painter, a performance artist, a stylist, a fashion designer, a set builder, and a light sculptor. I create scenes, narratives, performances, metaphors, and I document them through photography. I like to create very dramatic, mysterious, provocative, almost disturbing images that entangle as many skills as I can possibly manage to juggle to construct something more than just pressing a button.
I draw inspiration from stories and theater, from creepy nooks and crannies, from basements and thrift stores, and from my instinctive response to environmental trashing. After taking a psychology class I began thinking more and more about what goes on in people’s minds. This prompted me to begin my newest body of work in which I give people writing assignments that I integrate into photos or use in performance installations.
Documented performance installations are something I find very compelling. It allows me to create something more than just a photo. I can create an experience. These experiences I find to often be slightly therapeutic in that they require the subjects to really look inwards and think about themselves. Each subject is alone in the experience and takes something different away from it. That is my gift to them. These performances are not rehearsed. I am compelled by these installations because the results that occur are unpredictable and unique. The process could be repeated hundreds of times and each time would be different. I enjoy these performances because while each image is in itself interesting, the entirety of the experience becomes truly fascinating.
Another element that weaves its way into my art is recycling. This initially began while I was working in a photo studio and noticed that after the white background paper became slightly dirty it would be cut off and thrown away. This always horrified me. What a waste. Here was this ten foot long role of semi-used paper lying crumpled in the dumpster. I took it upon myself to be the savior, the resurrector of forgotten and abandoned material. I started using these salvaged chunks of paper to line little nooks and crannies and to transform them into three-dimensional canvases. These first creations emerged as documented performance installations as you’ve seen above, but then continued into creating not only sets but also costumes and props. After reusing these materials I recycle what is left or store it away until inspiration strikes again.
When I first received my invitation to join the Sharpie Squad I had two thoughts.
- It was a joke from work (I worked for two years at a photo studio called Sharp Photo and Portrait and we referred to ourselves as “Sharpies”).
- It was spam.
After getting over the shock that this was for real and overcoming my intimidation of feeling under qualified after looking at how accomplished all the other Squad members are I began to settle in and enjoy this experience. When I would tell people about being a member of the Sharpie Squad the most common reaction was, “Oh, my god! I love Sharpies” …Yep, me too! Since I had just graduated from college with my BFA in Photography and was experiencing a lull in creative job opportunities, joining the Sharpie Squad motivated me to keep going with my artwork and continue with my series of writing assignments. Being on the Squad also motivated me to finally put a website together, which, drum role please, you can visit at www.hannaagar.com
For me being on the Sharpie Squad is a great way to transition from college to the “real world”. The next step in my transition will be my move to NYC this fall where I hope to hone my skills as an assistant to some awesome photographer. The next step…who knows? But I can’t imagine my life continuing without some form or other of creative and exciting experiences.
…and that’s how you Uncap What’s Inside. Thanks Hanna! You have an amazing talent.