"My work is an attempt to take a world that can be so negative and find the light, bright beauty of our fragile existence. My work focuses on our great joys--love, parenthood, ambition and community-- and our great sorrows--personal sacrifice, politics, social injustice-- and works to accurately depict a big, messy life containing both. "
-H. Ward Miles
H. Ward Miles is an Indianapolis based artist whose work is influenced by her childhood in Indiana, her early career in Bloomington, living experiences in Kenya, and her work as a graphic artist, printmaker and educator. Her work maps her memories of experiences, spaces, emotions and sometimes the actual surface of the earth by building her canvases in paint layers, like limestone, and then scraping away paint. She relies on her graphic design background as well as her feelings, memories and the quiet images we store in our brains to create work that connects viewers to their own emotions and memories and creates a connection between the present and the past. As time continues, the biggest challenge that we will face will be our inability to connect—to all beings, to each other, to the planet. We have literal screens protecting us from all realities. That loss of connection will prevent us from relating our existence to the universe. In her work, H. Ward Miles hopes to remind viewers of the interconnected elements of life—connecting her work to ideas of politics, environmentalism, gender, love, parenthood, travel—and to connect emotion and memory to images of the land that acts as our life’s backdrop, to our tiny regrets and greatest joys, to our experiences, to our people, to the universe. The paintings are pretty too! Choosing to focus on beauty instead of ugliness stands in opposition of so much of what bombards us daily and she only wants to make art that reinforces everything that is beautiful and kind.
"You [H. Ward Miles] paint approximations of my dreams and memories of childhood: they are GREAT memories of comfort and security and soothing asthetics, but there was always an edge--a surprisingly hostile encounter, a nightmare here and there, that made the comfortable moments really pop. I feel like your paintings combine a few different times and spaces in one frame--which is not non-realistic since we filter every moment through our memories and expectations anyway."
-Feedback from a collector