Sophia Hatzikos is a site-specific artist who looks towards our past to evaluate our future. She is concerned with impending environmental collapse and gains insights from experts whose deep knowledge of natural systems comes from their working relationship with the land. Sophia is interested in interdependence and the contrasting fragilities of the natural world and capitalistic demand; she investigates these themes through a scientific lens. Through exploration and observation, she throws light on the ways in which structures and environments have been built over time, giving special attention to the imprints and inerasable marks left by those who wield power.
"Lift, Coil, Zip" retired wildfire hoses, steel, ties, 2022
This project was a collaboration with students from Oregon Episcopal School who were enrolled in I.M.P.A.C.T (innovate / make / act / collaborate / tinker), a course that encourages experimental thinking about the impact of public art. Discarded fire hoses from the Redmond Fire Cache acted as a throughline to different projects, questions, and themes that were explored by the class. If the fire hoses, used in wildfire suppression during 2020 and 2021, had not become part of the project, they would have gone to a landfill. Using an upcycled material allowed for an expansive creative environment: mistakes could be made and our budget could be spent on other materials to expand the scope of their projects. The students designed individual work around their research into wildfires, climate change, material processes, and the industry of wildfire-fighting, and all thirteen students were involved in the final collaborative effort.
Lift, Coil, Zip was shaped through site visits to the Lake Oswego Gallery without Walls, where it has been on display since the fall of 2022. The students were excited by the tall trees around the platform and its location right next to the firehouse. Seeing the environment where their work would live helped finalize the design and the students embraced the process of strategizing and refining ideas for their public art installation.
The work will be looking for a new home come August 2023; hopefully, it will stay in the region to continue to tell the story these students crafted!