The artist triumphant: Mary Margaret Hansen welcomes socially distanced gallery goers to "Atablo' " at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art. (Photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski)
"Tethered Dreams" detail from Mary Margaret Hansen's multimedia photo collage with handwritten text, “When we were baby women, how little we knew what lay ahead.” (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Houston installation artist and photographer Mary Margaret Hansen's "Salon" wall assemblage with vintage chest and chairs with 18 one-of-a-kind photo collages in the spirit of "Atablo'." (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Satin heels, "Daphne's Shoes," filled with green growing things, await their journey. And in the meantime? Perfect visitor iPhone photo-op at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Mary Margaret Hansen's “Contemplating the Chrysalis in Which We Sometimes Find Ourselves," a mixed media photo collage with vintage silver gelatin prints. How often do we remain within a chrysalis, waiting to become ourselves? (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Mary Margaret Hansen's "Red is the Breath of Life Itself," a multimedia photo collage with handwritten narrative around the borders. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
"Masks Women Wear" wall installation of a baker's dozen of gold-rimmed porcelain dinner plates, each with an image of a masked woman portraying such qualities as Fragility, Duty, Censure, Beauty, Chagrin, and Modesty. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
The sculpture "Remembering ..." features a lantern bearing a visual narrative of photographic images inset under glass panels. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Mary Margaret Hansen contemplates her latest exhibition, "Atablo' " at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art through August 29, 2020. (Photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski)
"Wear Your Mask" gold-rimmed porcelain dinner plate from "Masks Women Wear," a wall installation comprised of a baker's dozen of plates, each graced by a different image. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Mary Margaret Hansen's photo collage with handwritten text, "The Joy of Eating Out." "In this time of Coronavirus, we long for the foods we savored in Houston and abroad," the artist says. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
"Confection," an artist-refurbished Murano glass chandelier embellished with a mash-up of disparate glass beads, drop crystals, and hot pink lightbulbs. On the wall behind, a pair of multimedia photo collages. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
"Patchwork a Cause d'Ike" is spun around a pair of painted chairs appliqued with fabric scraps salvaged from Hurricane Ike flood waters. (Photo by Mary Margaret Hansen)
Mary Margaret Hansen and Heidi Vaughan at Hansen's site-specific installation "Atablo' " at Vaughan's eponymous art space. A year in planning, the artist refused to let a pandemic thwart her show. (Photo by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski)
This is the first story in a new PaperCity series which spotlights artists sharing insights into the making of their exhibitions: Houston talent Mary Margaret Hansen pulls back the curtain on her current show, “Atablo’ ” at Houston’s Heidi Vaughan Fine Art.
“Atablo’ ” is a mirror, a looking glass through which a viewer sees what I see. By appointment at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art, “Atablo’ ” is an immersive installation of photo collages, porcelain dinner plates, chairs appliqued with fabric remnants, and recycled and embellished chandeliers.
Years ago, I became compulsive about juxtaposing both my photographs and found objects.
I saw them all as fragments waiting to be partnered with another and yet another to become what I call “Atablo.’ ” This made-up word is actually the phonetic spelling of “a tableau,” defined in the dictionary as a picturesque arrangement.
I spend my days on visual hunts that begin when I wake up in the morning. I see the world around me and quite often begin to photograph, as a kind of morning meditation, a quiet way of observing, responding. I take photos when gathering shells on a Galveston beach, when finding treasure at The Guild Shop, while eating tacos with a friend, or walking in a neighborhood.
My collages are littered with ripe fruit and pastries, women’s faces and gestures, wilted flowers and withered leaves, Renaissance women in dishabille and portraits in marble, vintage dishes, and green growing things, details of my everyday.
Creating these visual tableaus — arrangements — is my process for making art. I discover more magic and mystery in what I photograph or collect when I create relationships between and among them. I believe an artist, or a writer, or a musician can conjure up other worlds in which we can all wander.
Cross the threshold at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art for a visual meander. “Atablo’ is my delight in the world I see and a world I want to share with you.
See Glasstire’s video walk through of “Atablo’ ” here.
“Mary Margaret Hansen: Atablo’ ” at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art (3510 Lake Street) runs through Saturday, August 29. To make an appointment to view the show, contact the gallery here.