Hannah Epstein (b.1985) is an artist working in textile and digital media (AKA Fyberspace). She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University (2017) and a B.A in Folklore & Religious Studies from Memorial University (2009). Epstein grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a cold, grey peninsula where she sought refuge indoors watching television. The sharp contrast between the saturated, colorful images on TV and the monotony of her surroundings had a big impact on the artist, and when later, she studied folklore at Memorial University in Newfoundland, she realized that TV had provided her with a visual vocabulary of cartoon and pop culture images that resonate with the folkloric tradition.
As a folklorist turned artist, Epstein is devoted to reimagining the iconography of popular culture, highlighting the cultural negotiation between bottom-up (folk-to-commodity) and top-down (institution-to-mashup) storytelling. The form of which has been a re- adoption of the traditional east coast craft of rug hooking for contemporary contexts and the use of video game technology and imagery to develop a world of characters that playfully reflects our own. Epstein’s monsters, whether crazy cats, spooky hybrid animals, or a wild-eyed, shaved-headed Brittney Spears, remind us that monsters have long been lurking in the corners of our imagination and media landscape.
Her work 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 St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is currently represented by Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles.