Morgan Hill is a sculptor and jewelry designer whose work draws on a wide range of aesthetic and conceptual influences, from ’90s pop culture, cult films, and costume design to her Southern, Christian upbringing and experiences as the only female child in an extended family of farmers in Arkansas. Her longing to break the silence surrounding culturally censured topics drives her to create work on themes of death, abuse, depression, and suicide, as well as their counterparts of rebirth, healing, and empowerment. On the lighter side, her jewelry brand Bad Habits by Morgan Hill celebrates the pleasure of excess and indulged desires.
Hill’s formal art education began at the Memphis College of Art, where she focused on drawing. She also studied interior design and ultimately earned a BFA in woodworking and furniture design from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Craft from 2015 to 2017, where she worked with renowned artists and designers and studied techniques ranging from chainsaw carving to metalwork to neon tube bending. In 2018, she was an ITE Windgate Fellow at the Center for Art in Wood. Her work is carried in galleries across the U.S. and internationally. She currently creates her work in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, in a studio shared with four of her favorite colleagues.
Bad Habits by Morgan Hill artist statement:
Bad Habits by Morgan Hill embodies the moment when you are about to have too much of a good thing. It’s the buzz you get from standing at the precipice of over-indulgence and knowing you might step off. It’s the taste of too much gin in your cocktail, the sound of frozen tater tots hitting a metal pan at midnight, the last ray of sunshine as you leave home on a Friday night. Like all indulgences, buying and wearing jewelry is a burst of excitement and joy, but it also holds the potential for a desire-fueled obsession. Some of my collections celebrate literal vices, while others imply indulgence through color and form. Either way, Bad Habits sees jewelry as a way to fulfill an urge. It’s that little something you need to feel good. Or, maybe you don’t, but you want it anyway.
Although nearly all my work relates to the human body, Bad Habits is the side of my creative practice that exclusively focuses on jewelry and wearable art. I make jewelry because it balances my studio practice and keeps my hands moving. It helps me plow through creative blocks and allows for exploration of new forms and ideas. It is playful, fun, colorful, and light. It is also my primary business. Selling jewelry allows me to make a living and connect with a broad audience of amazing people who use my work to express and indulge themselves (though some of them might be taking it a little too far!).