Hannah Subotnick

I explore the dynamic relationship between attachment and loss.

These sensations are always in tension and transformation. Dynamic relationships are animate. In animation, everything holds potential poetic life making it an apt medium for my explorations of attachment, devotion, absence, and eroticism. I often animate, film, and photograph my own body. I have studied ballet, modern dance, and folk-dance seriously throughout my life. I perceive all gestures as dance: abstract, symbolic and poetic movement. I give emotional weight to small, mundane gestures. I see the gestures of stitching, knotting, cutting thread, piercing, and pulling as performance. Stitching bridges distance, creating intimacy and attachment. These gestures, explored choreographically, have become central to my artwork. With them I express the intimacy, physicality, and poetic potential of stitching. I use these choreographies in film, video and installation. I also create physical embroideries which are not pictorial messages, but rather accumulations of stitches, each an evidential record of gesture.

hannahsubotnick.com • @hannahsubotnick 

Coyote Gloves, 2020. Antique kid gloves, miniature speaker, silk thread, 30x12x18 inches.


Labor of Love (installation), 2020. Wooden frame, embroidered fabric, silk thread, miniature projector, 30x12x24 inches.

Labor of Love (film), 2020. Animated film, 2 minutes 12 seconds.

Brilliant Pin, 2020. Video, 7 minute loop.

Caught on a Thorn in Her Escape, 2020. Video, 50 second loop.

Hannah Subotnick compresses time and distance through intimate sculptures combining the seemingly incongruous mediums of embroidery and film. Concerned about the limits of constant digital connection with heightened physical distancing, she explores attachment through meticulous hand sewing techniques creating a fantasy world where love and death do an erotic dance across digital screens and soft fabrics. Her pieces ask us to carefully slow down.

Terry Berlier, Associate Professor, Art Practice


Portrait, 2020. Raw silk, silk thread, 22x16 inches.


Softly Folded and Torn, 2020. Silk chiffon and silk thread, 2x2x4 feet.

Love imposes impossible tasks.

Hannah Subotnick (b.1992, Providence, RI) makes art using film, animation, photography, dance and sound. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Film/Animation/Video and an AB from Brown University and Modern Culture and Media. She received professional training in ballet, modern dance, and folk dance.

Although her work crosses many disciplines, at its core is a love of the transformative potential of the lens and its ability to abstract, reveal, transport and enchant. In her most recent body of work she explores embroidery as a dance of attachment, devotion and eroticism.

hannahsubotnick.com • @hannahsubotnick