Cubicles by Sara Hanlon at the Sower Gallery   13 comments

When I read the backstory to this work by Sara Hanlon, I knew why it reached out to me


Cubicles by Sara Hanlon

Back Story: “Cubicles”     Sara Hanlon

Like several other artworks described in my book, Sara Hanlon, Art and Attitude from the Queen of Garbage, “Cubicles” reflects on the tendency the great many of us have to “fit in” rather than “stand out”, and to make a living rather than “make a statement”. It also has to do with the isolation that follows from the use of technology in our workplace and in our lives.

The biggest problem is how we are losing our interpersonal contact. 
Much is accomplished via our computer terminals. Face to face, touching, 
tone of voice, even what a person looks like….it’s all lost to our own 
isolation in our rooms (or cubicles) containing our computers.

I believe that many of us are in danger of compartmentalizing (think cubicles in corporations), and isolation from other humans (think how technology reduces real life human interactions involving sight, sound and touch). Our global economy demands ever greater levels of productivity, and many of us are separated from each other and from our inner selves, as well.

If you live nearby you can enjoy a visit the Sower Gallery at:

Shepherd of the Hill Church

Corner of Engler and Highway 41 Chaska,

Minnesota Open Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to Noon

13 responses to “Cubicles by Sara Hanlon at the Sower Gallery

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  1. I identify with her comments and have many of the same concerns. Squares are not easy for me to identify with. I prefer circles or gentler intersecting patterns as a way to convey the same message.

  2. After reading Nancy’s and your comments, I will add that a circle can soften the blow of the isolation of a precise fed square. Sometimes I have felt that I was boxed in only to follow a pattern (a circle perhaps?) to reduce or relieve the intitial stress, loneliness and despair I have felt. To follow a pattern takes me away from the ongoing pattern or rut, depression, and /or
    Unresolved issue(s).
    Human presence is definately necessary for us to flourish.

  3. Sara’s Back Story rings so true. Remember the pop song “Little Boxes, little boxes”? Back then the little boxes referred to everyone living in suburban houses that “all looked just the same.” There is a conformity taking shape – a con-forming, being formed/shaped together into a mindset that eviscerated individuality. Sara is spot on. We need “Face to face, touching, tone of voice, even what a person looks like….real life human interactions involving sight, sound and touch.” More connected than ever before, we are less connected, more isolated – more chatty, but without a meaningful statement; less touched, less seen, unrecognizable by face, tone of voice, and touch. Thank you to you, Mona, for sharing, and thanks to Sara for “Cubicles” and the Back Story.

  4. Regarding the comment preferring circles to squares, I prefer squares/cubicles to express this statement. Circles represent wholeness, completeness, holiness, the sacred – all of that. The straight sides and hard angles of the square/cubicle is the better symbol, it seems to me. Furthermore, the corporate preference for small cubicles that resemble an assembly line of office workers makes the square the symbol. Having visited the Attorney General’s office yesterday, I was struck by the tiny spaces in which these public servants work. Efficiency of cost has turned many a workplace into Kafka-esque bureaucracies without faces, voices, and tone of voice. More together – closer together in the cubicles – we are less ourselves, and therefore, less together.

  5. Perhaps it is our ability to find “false” comfort in the rhythm of circles, thus fooling us into believing that the way w communicate now is the “best possible thing”. In a work setting today one of my last comments was to a co-worker telling her how hard it was to learn everyone’s name (over 80 people to get to know). She told me that it would take a long time. My response was, “I can’t come to learn a name until I can know the person.” And squares still make me feel anxious.

  6. I think about what technology is doing to our society. How so many kids don’t play with each other on a regular basis etc. And face to face contact seems to be drifting away. But it will go back. When people get tired of the new.

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