Jenn Hassin is a renown artist from Austin. She has a studio in Austin but is now studying art at Columbia University in New York City. Jenn has received numerous awards for her amazing work and has exhibited around the world, including the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. Jenn Hassin served in the military. She is a veteran and a proud Texan.
Catherine has been good friends with Jenn Hassin for a long time. Catherine took Jenn an old pair of my Boots and Coots coveralls in 2016 and told her a lot about the work that oil well firefighters and blowout specialists do. Using pulp made from the cloth of the coveralls themselves, a technique Jenn learned in Japan, she crafted the material into small rolls and replicated our patches at Boots and Coots. Below is the piece she made for me that Catherine gave me as a birthday present. I am very, very proud of this for a number of reasons, and honored to have it.
Our colors at Boots and Coots were white, of course, so we could be seen easily around a blowing well. The image is of a derrick engulfed in fire.
Here is another piece by Jenn Hassin, using the same medium, and an excerpt about the piece from Jenn's website...
Photo credit to Chris Gray with CS Gray Photography
A Battle Lost
rolled paper handmade from military uniforms, gold foil & matte medium
101" x 52" x 6"
"This work represents the 22 veterans that take their own lives every day. 8,030 rolls make up A Battle Lost, one for every veteran suicide last year. I roll the paper to create a spiral, a symbol of life to death, beginning to end. The gold is inspired by a Japanese practice called Kintsugi where they fill cracks in pottery with gold. This highlights the cracks and damage, yet shows that it is now stronger than ever, as well as more valuable and precious. The gold fills in the cracks of various abstract maps from war zones dating back to WWII to present. If we want to fix the problem of veteran suicide and become a stronger military community, we need to band together and come up with a solution. My thoughts are that the issues stem all the way back to Active Duty status and the stigmas attached to seeking mental health attention- this never leaves us. Let us unite and make a change, one day at a time, adapt and overcome."
I urge everyone to visit Jenn Hassin's website, here for more information on her story, and her fascinating art work.