About the Artist
An artist of the Americas, Heather Hauptman has been infused with stories and creatures that manifest in her drawings and embroidery since 2016. Currently based in Denver CO, returning home after nine years in Argentina where she began her journey as a self taught artist. While in the Paris of the south, Buenos Aires, she honed her skills in storytelling via writing, drawing and embroidery on found objects.
Her past life as a bachelor degreed critical care nurse prepared her to become an artist, as she witnessed the fragility of life. Her art is the place that vulnerability and enchanted thinking come together. The great prairie of the American west and the vast emptiness of Argentina’s Patagonia whisper to her, calling for her calloused nurses’ hands to bring them forth into the world.
I draw from my imagination and from my writing using simple graphite and color pencils on surfaces of all sorts. I have always been a dreamer, staring into the distance listening for the whispers of what might have been or could be. Sometimes the process of drawing, erasing, drawing and erasing over and over can be tedious. But it’s only through this destroying and remaking that I can hear the whispers of characters, and stories that call out to me.
My creations can live another life from the inside my embroidery hoop. Lingering with a character to the hypnotic sound of my needle pulling the DMC floss through the fabric.
Much of this work was created during the pandemic when I was living in Buenos Aries ARG with my partner of many years. We did not survive the pandemic, as many other couples did not. Sequestered things were exposed to the light, and bleached into nothingness. These pieces reflect the betrayal of my partner, and the despair I felt at having discovered it. But there is also hope in these pieces. Hope that a path will reveal itself in due time, and I have only to listen to the gentle whispers of unseen things that are desperate to guide me along my way.
How do you interpret “Ready to Wear” in your work?
Stories live in every piece of fabric that make up the garments that we wear. The story of the designers, makers and wearers are hidden in the seams, hems and edges of our clothes. Things that I can imagine, but will never know. These are the unseen seeds of the story of a used garment. When I pick apart an old dress or shirt I forever alter those stories. Weave in a new story with my needle and thread. A new story that then stands on the shoulders of the unknown, bringing the musty smells of the past into the present. My hope is that these two together, bring the possibilities of a third story brought by the viewer. Imagining where their past, the garment’s past and my past can come together. It might not be something to be worn in this present moment, but rather something that takes us back to a past that could have been.