Hanna Jubran ponders the universe — astronomy, the cosmos and natural science studies of celestial objects and phenomena. Working with stainless steel, bronze, steel and aluminum, he creates wall reliefs and sculptures. To loosely interpret his artist statement, by fashioning these works that use personal symbols and textures derived from nature, geometry, math, organic forms and the physical world, he creates a tension between imagination and the physical world that, he says, connects to his identity as an artist. By viewing and sensing this construction and tension, a knowledge follows, which Jubran feels gives meaning to humanity.
To view the exhibit is to fall into a personal universe that has echoes of our inner and outer world and universe, but is saturated with artistic vision and skill. Calling the show, “Universe of the Mind: Inquiry & Inspiration by Nature,” lends a window into Jubran’s exploration and sense of wonder over space and nature from, as he says, the micro to the macro.
With titles like “Impact Theory,” “Singularity Theorem,” “Nucleic Acid” and “Heliocentric Theory,” viewers gain a glimpse into the intellectual matter that catches Jubran’s attention and works well with the fascinating works of art. Some are wall reliefs tinted with translucent colors — just enough to add interest, depth and feeling and not overtake the metal, textures, shapes — tiny planets resembling Saturn, and miniature orbs from the size of a pin to a little smaller than a dime. Sweeping lines arc and flow through the picture planes that can have a planet just pushing through as if coming into being. Outer space shapes and linked circles combined with hexagons resembling nucleobases of DNA and RNA, have the viewer moving from the microscopic to the macrocosm in an orchestrated yet free flowing symphony of thought and imagination.
Also in the exhibit are freestanding sculptures such as a circular bronze work that has two halves with emerging globes in the center of each surrounded by radiating, circular outer crusts that are adorned with angular and wavy lines that simulate motion and direction, which generate an electric, pulsing feel. “Rising Magma” is a textural work with a globe emerging from a nest of intersecting strands of metal. It contains open spaces that demand exploration like a submerged shipwreck. The beauty of Jubran is that he incites curiosity and wonder through a mix of the tangible and mysterious to create works of art as deep and endless as space and, despite their weight, as sensitive as breath.
Jubran recently unveiled a public sculpture at the G. K. Transportation Center in Greenville, North Carolina called “Time Travel.” He collaborated with local artist Glenn Eure and Greenville artist Jodi Hollnagel Jubran to design Kitty Hawk’s “Monument to a Century of Flight” that features an orbit of ascending wing-shaped pylons depicting man’s journey in a single century from earthbound to the moon and beyond. The Jubrans fabricated the Monument’s pylons and created the center bronze dome. The Monument was dedicated in December 2003 to commemorate 100 years of flight.
Jubran is a professor of sculpture at East Carolina University. His selected resume is filled with solo exhibitions, research awards, selected national exhibits and international exhibits. Shows stretch geographically from as near as Nags Head to as far away as China. The Grimesland, North Carolina artist comes to his work with an MFA in sculpture with a minor in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin.
His exhibit will be up through September.