Belinda Hanson was born on a dairy farm in Minnesota. When she was five, her parents sold their farm and crossed the country “Grapes of Wrath” style with six offspring in an old Chevy, and landed in Southern California. In sometimes-fierce competition with five older siblings who all earned PhD’s in science, she earned a degree in cellular biology at the University of California Davis, always pursuing art classes on the side. Far from wasted time, this biology background still influences her art process today. Later, as an MFA student, she discovered pataphysics “the science of imaginary solutions”. This concept energized her alchemical attitude towards art making. Working with the twin ideas of pataphysics and alchemy, she explores the boundary between fantasy and science with her sculpture.
Belinda currently resides in Dunsmuir, California, where the Sacramento River flows through the canyons just below Mount Shasta. This confluence of geography, mountain and river affects her aesthetic. Hanson’s sculpture and sculptural installations are raw, even rugged, yet the end results are surprisingly delicate, sometimes kinky. Art historian and curator Jeannene Pryblyski says:
“Part of a long history of modernist sculpture of assemblage and found materials (think Duchamp, Schwitters, and the Surrealists), and part of a growing trajectory of contemporary interventions using minimalist forms… Hanson’s work asks us to contemplate the boundary between human and inhuman, nature and artifice, sameness and difference—and feel wonder.”