Leslie Norman Hubble’s work is inspired by content that disturbs her. She then constructs or manipulates those ideas into aesthetic images and objects. She works to express a truth and raise questions about “mind and body, as well as concepts of time, culture, and technology.”
Hubble’s exhibition is part of the No Divide KC documentary series premiering at Johnson County Library September through December.
Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.
My name is Leslie Norman Hubble, and I do art in a variety of media, including, acrylic painting, drawing, collage, assemblage, photography, photo manipulation, work with found objects, and combinations thereof. Virtually nothing is off limits to use as or be used in participation with a medium.
Talk about the work that will be on view. What would you like people to know about it?
For some time now, I have been inspired by unnerving content . I feel compelled to construct and/or manipulate more aesthetic images or objects based on disturbing content. This works to express a truth in me and elicit less conventional ways of seeing the body/ mind/ spirit as well as concepts of time, culture, and technology.
For example, my husband died of COPD, a long extremely unpleasant illness. We were married for over 25 years. Of course, what happened to him, and what was happening to us, in our home, was extremely difficult. I took care of him, along, so was very intimate with so many aspects of the disease. Since his death I find myself doing a lot of related art.. Cor Pulmonade , Sister Cor Pulmonade, and Nebulizer Babies I and II appear in this show. I used his xrays, MRIs, and parts of his medical records and researched images of end-stage lung disease and related conditions that he developed. I also used detritus used for his care (for example, one of his hospital bracelets is used in the assemblage Sister Cor Pulmonade and an oxygen tubing connector in another piece). The finished pieces are a more “palatable” version of the physical and emotional events of this time
Sonogram Doll, Metronome, and The Ladder of Our Love are based on my own body and brain. In these pieces I used sonograms, xrays, MRIs, etc, of my body, along with drawing, painting, digital manipulation, collage, and various mixtures of these mediums.
Time and Chance and Seizure Disorder are among pieces in this show that use similar techniques regarding fixed ideas and/or disturbing aspects of time and technology.
What’s the most challenging thing about your creative process?
Probably the biggest obstacle is chronic physical pain. I have several spinal disorders and am limited physically. I’m not able to work on a large scale.I work everyday in spite of any but the most severe pain; the pain of not doing art is more intolerable..
What I call the frozen depression, which often holds hands with anxiety and agitation, is also challenging to deal with. I’ve learned to do art anyway during these times – force myself, if necessary, and am learning to not be concerned about the outcome of whatever I scribble down or slap around. Just pour some art on it – no matter what “it” is. “Nothing is so precious that it can’t be collaged on or painted over or thrown away,” a favorite art professor used to say. That phrase sticks with me and the philosophy has given me a lot of freedom.
Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their work do you like?
Bosch is a major influence, as are Frida Kahlo, Erich Fischel, William Blake, Joseph Cornell, Lucien Freud, Van Gogh, de Kooning, Tuculescu, Klimt, Thomas Chimes. The list goes on.
Please list your book, music and/or book recommendations.
Cruddy by Lynda Barry
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers
The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You by Frank Stanford
What About This, Collected Poems of Frank Stanford
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Complete Illuminated Books by William Blake
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Was, Not Was
John Hiatt, particularly his earlier work
The Classical dudes