Hannah (b.1985) is a Canadian neofolk artist working in textile and digital media. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017) and a B.A in Folklore & Religious Studies from Memorial University (2009). Epstein was raised in Nova Scotia, by a techno-matriarchal family, headed by her Latvian grandmother and a Zenith television. Mesmerized by the sharp contrast between the saturated images of three local channels and the grey drizzle outside family trauma inside, launched a lifetime obsession with popular entertainment as remedy and escape. Using a blend of hand crafted textile and digital technologies from AI to video games, Epstein creates work that places cartoon and pop culture imagery in resonate dialog with archetypal figures of the collective unconscious. Key to her approach is the use of a folkloric lens to highlight the cultural negotiation between bottom-up (folk-to-commodity) and top-down (institution-to-mashup) storytelling. Currently, after many years in Toronto and Los Angeles, Hannah Epstein returned to Nova Scotia in 2020 to take on the project of converting an 1886 church building into a home studio and gallery. Epstein’s work is in the collections of Jorge Perez, Demi Lovato, Beth DeWoody and Collection Majudia. She has been shown at The Hammer Museum, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Textile Museum of Canada, The Long Beach Museum of Art, The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and The Rooms in.
LABA Project Description:
I hope to create a series of textiles that prods at the taboos I will uncover in the study of Jewish texts.
What Taboo Would You Like To Break?
All of them, except incest and murder.