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Hannah Mabie
Master of Fine Arts Painting /
Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies
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Throughout the last few decades, with the capabilities of science and accessibility of shared knowledge, humanity has attempted to banish the mysteries and ideas of the unknown. My thesis addresses questions about the nature of human consciousness, science, and religion to show how they introduce spaces hospitable to mystery, wonder, transcendence, and creation. With the revelations in science and our newfound technologies of discovering unknowns on the macro and micro scale, I find that the more we learn, the more there is to know.


I highlight this fact by indirectly referencing different ways that humanity has used science, art, and religion to depict or attempt to understand the meaning of it all. My process is important to the conceptual elements in the work in that I often let the paint take control and I have to respond to it. The balance between control and lack of control lends itself to images of uncertainty and pulls away from attempts to make anything truly representational or known.


Our universe is full of unknowns and humanity makes all of its scientific discoveries with incomplete information, when there is a more complicated ecology than we could ever attempt to understand. My thesis explores these concepts of wonder, the sublime, and the unknown through experimental abstract paintings and a multimedia installation. The goal of these works is to transport the viewer out of the everyday through working with various materials that allow a lack of control and ambiguity in the representation of traditional processes. The pieces evoke the feeling of the sublime through visual depth, intense color, and abstracted scientific and religious imagery.

What my time at KCAD meant to me

KCAD has given me the opportunity to make mistakes, immerse myself in a curriculum that was challenging, and accept that things won’t always go according to plan. It is through this process that I have grown tremendously and realized that I can rise to the occasion. Being a part of this supportive community of faculty and students has been exceptional. I will value these mentorships and friendships for years to come. After graduation, I will continue to pursue my passions and never stop learning. I hope to teach future artists with the same support and encouragement that I received here at KCAD. 

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