Carolyn Hesse



Since graduating from art school, Carolyn has worked in the wooden boat community in various roles throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Consequently, her art has been profoundly influenced by traditional wooden boat building techniques, materials, and the ever-present consciousness of making structures that interact with bodies of water. Carolyn likes engaging with the idea of suspension – in the literal spatial and chemical sense, as well as in the more ephemeral sense related to time and being. Her installations and sculptural pieces explore this concept through visual repetition, movement through space, as well as a reference to the straight line, which is perhaps one of humankind’s greatest inventions as no such phenomenon exists naturally. 

SUSPEND. is a tool in development meant as a visual meditation on arguably one of humankind’s greatest inventions in the universal toolkit, the straight line. And further, how we have used the straight line as the foundation for constructing methods to cross water.

SUSPEND. consists of 46 9×16″ glass panels adhered to 2×2″ cedar frames, floating just at the surface of the water, and connected to each other by 2′ lengths of fishing line. Set up in formation on the river and attached to any substrate, the piece creates an intermittently rigid and subtly delineated line of repetitive geometric shapes floating just at the surface of the water. The water is all around them, and also slides over them. This provides a sometimes reflective, sometimes transparent, intentional made surface to present and contrast the ephemeral changing light, colors, reflections, and shapes in and around the river environment.