It all started when...In the summer of 2016, Megan Hanley received the Mary Ausplund Tooze Scholar Travel Award to participate in a three-week dig with the Sanisera Archaeology Institute in Menorca, Spain. Excavating a necropolis of approximately 1500-year- old Roman graves, Hanley lay on her stomach digging in the hot sun, caked in the red earth and littered with bone dust. "A short walk away was another necropolis in which the graves had been excavated and backfilled years prior and was now blooming with shrubs, grasses, and flowers reclaiming the disturbed earth for the wild. With the sun at my back, my shadow was projected into the length of the grave. Upon seeing my body mixed with the dirt, stones, and plants, I experienced a feeling of close connection to the land and the ancient people. It is my goal to generate art that speaks to my experiences and explores how acts of entombment and excavation affect the land and embody the interconnected relationship we humans have as part of a larger environment."
For the exhibition Eternal Becoming, Hanley has created labor-intensive drawings with charcoal, ink, dirt, and ash of the plant life taking over the tombs that the ancient skeletons once inhabited. Upon approaching the work, the viewer is enveloped into the scene, able to project their body into the life-size tomb.
This work will be on view for the month of October, with opening hours on Sundays from 12-5pm and an opening reception on Friday, October 6th from 6-9pm.