Sarah Hatfield, "What Are We?"

Pink space with a pile up of nude bodies, some more rendered or more discernible than others, in various positions. Soft white outlines of body parts are layered on top of the bodies.

Sarah Hatfield (Class of 2019) completed this large self-portrait in 2018. The artist's statement about this piece reads: "Requiring adoration to foster confidence and security keeps me from ever truly knowing myself. I find affirmation in intimate moments, opening up to people in a physical way that I cannot express through words. My dependency on people I love becomes apparent when I can no longer see them as a separate entity. Layers of paint accumulate as I try to discern between what I know of myself and the people that I am dependent on. When one person fails me I adopt others into my support system, using the infatuation of one to compensate for the shortcomings of another. The physicality of painting mirrors the way that I try to express myself to partners. These convoluted paintings begin as identifiably figurative pieces that grow as I attempt to better understand how people relate to one another. I use paint to explore the tension and boundaries in relationships. Gradually, as the paint builds, resolute bodies begin to dissolve into more abstract notions toward bodily references and the distinction between individuals becomes less clear. An emphasis is placed on the spaces of connection. The way paint meets on canvas explores the interactions that we experience. Brushstrokes often mimic a dull panic we may feel when confronted with separation or loss. Whereas, linear marks reference distorted and unrecoverable figures that emerge as we struggle to confront the confusing and uncertain terrain of dependency. Colors blend as the paint works to construct a moment of representational self-portraiture within this study of vulnerability."