Hanna

Miller

MA Painting

This body of artwork examines the overlap between my family’s long-lasting adoration of sports and society’s progressing views on the subject of the female perspective in athletics. Through my oil paintings, I create compositions that reveal the generational obstacles and triumphs of women athletes and where my lineage fits within this context. Intimately-sized surfaces, sometimes equal to that of a baseball card, are used as visual representations to highlight the continued idolization of male athleticism, while minimizing the achievements of female competitors. The discovery of vintage family photographs, many showing my great grandmother in gender neutral clothing posing assertively next to an old race car, have prompted me to generate pieces detailing the hidden histories of female athletes from the early twentieth century and beyond.

I emphasize influential figures in my compositions through the use of minimalist backgrounds and visual hierarchies. Growing up, I tried to emulate the talent and strength my grandmother and mother had in tennis, field hockey, and other sports. These tactics highlight the alternate side of the social constructs of the mid 1900s that sexualized the female athlete through items like LPGA pinup magazines, among other disappointing media publications.

The merging of sports and domestic life inevitably spans throughout my paintings and embroidered work, but this is not meant to favor nostalgic memories or the idea of contentment. Instead, I utilize my artwork and experiences to subtly shift away from the long-standing beliefs that girls and women are not supposed to show overt physicality or be knowledgeable sports fans.

Pete Rose This, John McEnroe That (Divin’ and Kickin’), 2020  Oil on Canvas, 9” x  12”

Pete Rose This, John McEnroe That (Divin’ and Kickin’), 2020

Oil on canvas, 9” x 12”

Bouncy Little Girl, 2020 Oil on canvas

Bouncy Little Girl, 2020

Oil on canvas, 30” x 48”

Sleep with One Eye Open and a Bat Under Your Bed, 2020 Oil on canvas

Sleep with One Eye Open and a Bat Under Your Bed, 2020

Oil on canvas, 30” x 48”