Heather Parrish is a multi-disciplinary artist who grew up traversing the cultural and geographical landscapes of Southeast Asia and the southern United States. Her work questions the nature of boundaries, whether metaphorical, societal or biological. She employs an expanded practice of printmaking, using translucent materials, light projections, paper installation and experimental photography to unsettle simple binaries (interior/exterior, belonging/otherness, static/transient, etc.) inviting consideration of the dynamic potentialities of boundaries as porous and productive sites of exchange.
In this spirit, interdisciplinary collaboration is a sustaining part of her practice including projects with scientists, filmmakers, poets, and activists. Her two primary collaborations are: Scope: The Theater of Collaborative Survival, with biologist/artist Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff (New York University) and acoustic engineer Léo Roussel (Arup Firm), investigating potentialities in microbiome-human partnerships. They recently exhibited at Science Gallery Detroit and the New York Hall of Science. Working the Border, with geographer Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen explores how art and social science collaborations can disrupt disciplinary and political boundaries and engender emancipatory futures. They exhibited at ‘The Line Crossed Us: New Directions in Border Studies’ at University of Lethbridge, Canada, and have a forthcoming book chapter published with Athabasca University Press. Parrish also worked with a geologist to author ‘Shaped by Rivers’, a field guide for ‘Anthropocene Drift’, a field station within Mississippi. An Anthropocene River, the large scale interdisciplinary initiative lead by the Haus der Kulteren der Welt and Max PLanck Institute for the History of Science, with the following exhibition ‘The Shape of a Practice’ at HKW, Berlin, Germany. Out of that project she is an ongoing contributor to the Over the Levee, Under the Plow: Experiential Curriculum co-organized by Sarah Kanouse (Northeastern University) and Ryan Griffis (University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne).
Other exhibitions include solo shows at the Snite Museum of Art, Krasl Art Center, ArtLink Gallery and Flatbed Center for Contemporary Printmaking as well as international exhibitions in Spain, Turkey, Japan and Portugal. At University of Iowa she has been an Obermann Research Fellow, and recipient of an IP Stanley International Travel Award and Arts and Humanities Initiative (AHI) Grant. At University of Notre Dame she was awarded a Nanovic Institute for European Studies Graduate Research Grant and two Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts Research Awards.
Parrish received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the faculty at University of Iowa, Parrish was a professional collaborating printer at Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas, and a visiting teaching scholar at University of Notre Dame. She has been a co-editor of the Mid America Print Council Journal since 2018. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Program Head of Printmaking at the University of Iowa.