My work in printmaking and painting helps me navigate through the space of memory. I ask questions like “whose memories are these”, “Did I make this memory up”, and “how much do I really know about my past?” My work centers on the mysterious nature of growing up as an identical twin. We often have different memories of the same experiences. Growing up I struggled with finding my own identity as a unique individual that was part of a unit. Now I ask myself if it matters how unique I am. I will often start a piece with an object that rotates or moves back and forth such as an Estonian Windmill, Ferris Wheel or Carousel. Some of these objects spark real memories for me, some only show me how my past exists with me in the present. The rotating nature of these footholds keeps bringing me back to the beginning.
Printmaking allows me to use multiple impressions of the same image to create a variety of environments in which they can exist. In this way, my tools of navigation become the objects, or pieces of these objects that I choose to reveal. I use the translucent nature of silk organza, acrylic Plexiglas and bee’s wax encaustic paint to layer the imagery in a kind of dream reality. I have started incorporating light into my pieces as a way to enhance the dimensionality of this deep and hidden space, only allowing certain footholds to become clear. My research for this new body of work started in graduate school and I continue to refine and grow the way I use light in my work. The presentation of my prints is ever-evolving, as I seek to create a unique and engaging connection with my viewers.
The subject matter of my most recent work is focused on becoming the mother of twin boys. I see aspects of my history coming through in how my children interact with one another and how I approach them as a twin myself. The scale motif refers to the continuous balancing act it takes to raise twins as well as my feeling of being measured and weighed by the “twinness” I have within me.
Dana Harris was born in El Granada, California. She received her MFA in Printmaking from San Jose State University in 2011 and her BA in Painting from Anderson University in 2004. She is a member of the California Society of Printmakers. Dana taught Lithography and Monotype at San Jose State University. In 2012 she was an Artist in Residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and taught Lithography courses there. She won the Auvil Printmaking assistantship at SJSU two years in a row, as well as Third Place Print in the Triton Museum’s Statewide Drawing and Printmaking show in 2017. She exhibits her work nationally and has been published in Studio Visit Magazine. She resides in Ben Lomond, California with her husband- Yori Seeger, a sculptor as well as daughter Lyla and twin boys Esben and Hayden. She has an identical twin sister, her relationship with whom influences her work greatly. Her prints focus mainly on the underlying truths in memory and how sharing a mutual history influences, interrupts and obscures life in the present.