Erika Hibbert

Erika Hibbert

The conceptual premise of my work is naturally in flux, but over the years I have returned repeatedly to consider ideas related to belonging, home and longing. I understand these ideas stem from my own biography but my work has also expanded beyond my own narrative to engage ideas of human connectedness and dependency more broadly. Exploring nostalgia and longing, I have probed human links to nature and researched ideas relating to human alienation from nature. The essence of this state of alienation seems to reside in the concept of Culture: Distancing ourselves from nature through manipulating nature to make human environments and objects, we find ourselves suspended between our origins as more primarily physical creatures and our preoccupations with thought,
loneliness, and mortality. 

As a visual artist in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 1980s until the early 2000s, I taught drawing at colleges in Soweto (Funda and Pelmama), and in inner-city community art-projects (The Artists Proof Studio and Spaza Art). Teaching linked me to my community and grounded my artmaking. In 2004 my husband was murdered and I left South Africa abruptly, moving to Botswana with our mixed-race daughters. My art practice was severely disrupted but Botswana allowed me time to rebuild my work with more introspection and the introduction of unconventional media and abstract content. In 2009 we immigrated to Georgia, USA. While teaching art, my own practice continued in near isolation, with rare opportunities for critiques, guidance or exchange with artists or academics. With limited opportunities to exhibit my work commercially in Atlanta I have shown in museums (Rosa Parks, Alabama) and universities (GSU and Emory). In 2020 I moved to New York City starting a new phase in my life as a visual artist.

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