Mamma's Boy - Analogue is the New Digital

These works are from the Mamma’s Boy series, created during my residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. These prints are an attempt to portray my 2-year-old son's Weltanschauung. These began as 3D collages of public domain models in Google’s SketchUp. I exported stills and re-collaged these in Photoshop. I then painted with acrylic on graph paper, primed in with InkAid and printed the Photoshop images. Next, I scanned these prints at a high resolution and collaged the scans with both public domain and personal photographs. Finally, I drew and wrote back into them with a Wacom tablet. The resulting images were printed on tyvek at roughly 44” x 100” and cut with an Exacto-blade to the irregular edges displayed. They are screwed to the wall with brass or nickel plated wood screws and washers.
I decided to do this residency to kick-start my studio practice after the birth of my son in 2008. I discovered, however, that the long days in front of the computer focused my attentions on the physical absence of son. I've always been interested in the relationship between language and image. Since Quinn’s language skills were going through a developmental explosion, I found myself trying to catalogue his linguistic discoveries. In this series I reinterpret my son's verbal worldview by taking his concerns and considerations (trucks, dinosaurs, owls, etc.) and translating them into my own concerns (fossil fuels, locally grown food, etc.) in both analogue and digital formats. I am very interested in synasthetic experiences as well. Despite (or perhaps because of) the “flat” quality of digital prints, I hope to inspire a visceral reaction in my audience. By interweaving digital and analogue processes, I hope to achieve this result.


Heather D. Freeman is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she teaches digital print, animation, video, installation and drawing. She grew up in Skillman, New Jersey and was heavily influenced by her parents’ careers in the sciences. She holds a BA in Fine Art and German Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in Studio Art from Rutgers University. Previously, Freeman worked as an art director, graphic designer, editor and animator in New York and New Jersey. She also taught art, graphic design and visual rhetoric since 2001 at various institutions including the University of Kentucky and Clemson University. Her print and video work is regularly exhibited regionally and nationally and has appeared in international exhibitions in Australia, Canada, China, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Sweden and Thailand. More of her work can be viewed at

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