Megan Hatch is a queer, multidisciplinary artist living in Portland, OR. She uses art-making to explore the world around and inside of her, and also to share the stories of those journeys. She does this because she knows, deep down, that art is essential to our collective thriving: it’s how we’re going to find our way.
You can find more of her work here.
"the way isn't clear - and yet here we are" archival pigment print, 27in x 10in, 2022
"almost there - losing ground" archival pigment print, 10in x 27in, 2022
"leaning in - falling down" archival pigment print, 10in x 27in, 2022
The earth is burning, and not in a Paris sort of way. We’re told to lean in, only to find ourselves constantly leaning down to pick up the pieces. Losing ground, falling down….We fall in, call in, reach out and sometimes shout with joy. We mend the cracks with the gold we have, and that we are, so we can carry water and each other.
I started this work in 2020, which had the worst fire season in Oregon to date. That year also marked the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and George Floyd died at the hands of police. The experience of each of these tragedies was inextricably linked. So much felt broken. So much still does. In this series, the photographs are bound together by a thin golden line as if by kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold. They become a series of vessels to hold our hurt and our hope. There is healing to be found in holding multiple truths in our awareness at the same time, in acknowledging the fullness of the moment, and of each other. By doing so, we get to practice wholeness. There is no way to where we want to go without practice. This is my ground truth…
The photographs in this series were made on land across the street from where I live in Portland, OR. Once a landfill, it is now an essential urban greenway for wildlife. It has been burned by wildfire twice in the past three years.
more of Megan's perspective
Ground truth 2: Watching the smoke roll across the land. This photo was taken during the 2020 Oregon fire season, which was one of the worst to date.
Ground truth 1: Nearly all of the photos from the series "yes | and" were made on land that is home to Dharma Rain Zen Center. This area was originally a landfill. It is now an essential urban greenway for wildlife. Megan walks there almost every day.
Ground truth 3: The land here gets parched every summer now. Brush fires can and do start easily. Living in an area of town with sparse tree cover exacerbates this, among many other detrimental impacts. This year Megan's family is adding several trees and shrubs along the street by their house. They are also amending the soil with biochar, which both increases soil health and sequesters carbon.