Carolyn Henne is a sculptor. Henne’s sculpture is largely informed by anatomical studies and her interest in low-tech interactive works. Her work ranges from large, complex interactive installations to more straightforward, discrete objects. “Suspended Self Portrait”, is in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and was featured in the NIH’s exhibition, Dream Anatomy. Henne is the Co-Director of Comma and she is the Head of the Sculpture Area in FSU’s Department of Art.
Henne’s work has long contended with personal versus public states of being. Science connections are always there – starting with the use of anatomy to reflect on internal versus external evidence of lived experience (illness, pain, shame).
She is rerouting her path to focus on external issues, some quite evident and many veiled. (This is Madness, Sea Stars, and future project plans involving aquaculture). In her lifetime, an oligarchy has strategically undermined those striving for climatic, health, economic, racial and democratic justice. The pandemic crystallized how capitalist supremacy requires sacrifice from the most vulnerable. Means of survival will emerge when local, national and global communities work together. Artists can work with scientists to make tools for the future to grow, build and coexist with nature. Sea Stars and future aquaculture projects challenge the methods currently used in aquaculture, shoreline protection, and resource enhancement by using material designed as an environmentally positive alternative.
Making art via aquaculture allows Henne to address a broad swath of toxicities in our environment(s) and deliver a call to action in cheeky disguise. Simultaneously, the sculptures yield to the oysters for positive environmental and economic impact. They are to be designed for the shallow waters, low in profile but broad in scope to maximize visual and structural impact. Oyster reefs stabilize shorelines, filter polluted water, create habitats for sea life and boost the supply of oysters. Coastal economies benefit from healthy, clean waters and protected shorelines.