hannah knight leighton
Leighton’s current work is created using yarn, cotton fabric and a contraption called a tufting gun. This tool shoots yarn at a high speed creating loops that result in ‘tufts’. Leighton’s work is illustrative of a shift in the art worlds embrace of a medium that began as a stereotypically feminine domestic domain. Fiber is a relatively recent area of exploration for Leighton, whose past work focused upon acrylic paint, a medium that mirrors obsessions of our culture—scale, speed and plasticity.
The act of image making taps into Leighton’s earliest experience with language and the challenges associated with it. Her inquiry involves the discipline of paying close attention to sensations that precede words, thoughts, and concepts. She strives to get behind the order that we instinctively impose on the world and find moments when images are just beginning to take shape on the surface of the canvas. Leighton proceeds to layer these figures with new and fresh impressions, and in the process produce a playful encounter where order and chaos are in tension. This quest means that she must constantly relinquish preconceptions and make space for the unexpected.
Leighton is inspired by artists such as, Matt Phillips, Trudy Benson, Sangram Majumdar and Elizabeth Murphy. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of art summa cum laude in May 2015.Post graduation she was accepted to the Green Olive Arts Residency program and spent a month painting among the medinas of Morocco. Leighton is thrilled to be back in school at the University of New Mexico where she plans to attain her MFA in 2021.