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Emergency Blankets

Published onMar 15, 2018
Emergency Blankets

Figure 1. I require assistance, 2016, hot-stamped foil on emergency blanket, 84” x 52”

I want to protect us. My work explores the complexity of this instinct as a contemporary woman and visual artist. I put my personal gestures of care on display to exemplify empathy and examine moments when my emphatic response is futile. I question the anthropocentric systems that have led to environmental and humanitarian instability by symbolically mismatching material and function. In doing so, I provoke situational paradox, asking: how well anything or anyone can protect us from ourselves?

Figure 2. Sampler (in case of emotional emergency), 2016, hot-stamped foil on emergency blanket. 84" x 52"

The utilitarian objects I construct are hopeful tools for survival and recovery. My emergency blanket series is an example of such tools. They are printed with both traditional wool blanket patterns and symbols from the international maritime signal code, thus addressing crises of communication, identity, and natural disaster.  Though flashy and graphic, at the end of the day, they are blankets—caretaking objects meant to help those in need. The relief they provide is only temporary.

Figure 3. I wish to communicate with you, 2016, hot-stamped foil on emergency blanket, 84” x 52”


Anna Haglin is a multimedia artist and writer currently serving as the Visiting Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She attended Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts. She earned her Master’s and Master of Fine Arts Degrees from the University of Iowa Printmaking and book arts programs. She has completed a two-year apprenticeship in bookbinding at the Arion Press in San Francisco and a studio assistantship at the Women’s Studio Workshop in upstate New York. Anna was a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts artist-in-residence at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, a finalist for the NYC Center for the Book Fellows Program, and a 2014 artist-in-residence at Art Farm in Nebraska. ​

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