I had never been to the 840 gallery before I went to see Jennifer's show on Friday the 17th. I'm so glad I stopped by. I got the chance to talk with Jennifer about her art, her inspiration, and her life in general.
Jennifer was a nurse before she decided to return to school for her MFA. A self-proclaimed member of the EcoArt movement, that environmental awareness is definitely apparent in her work. In our discussion Jennifer mentioned how she started by doing landscape paintings, fields of grass that gave off a Buddhist vibe. She mentioned that not only do u think about the grass as this huge mass but you start to notice the individual blades of grass. She said that people often tell her that after words they never think about grass in the same way.
My favorite quote from Jennifer's statement that was mounted on the wall was, "I'm interested in the conversation about "outsiders" "others" and how this creates or sets up dualities of marginalization/inclusion and domination/subordination." In our discussion, Jennifer mentioned her growing up in Appalachia and began noticing that other people had different views on some of the same things. We talked about migration of people and the sometime stationary tendencies of people. We also discussed her use of art as a poetic means of persuasion on an important topic. She mentioned that sometimes when discussing things we use loaded words that can shut people off to certain topics, so through art it is easier to digest.
After we had finished our discussion and I had snapped pictures of the exhibition, Jennifer gave me a paper airplane. Attached to it was some seeds used to encourage birds to take flight and through forces of nature start the cycle of tree growth. The airplanes could be seen in the actual exhibition, multitudes of them all flying towards one specific coordinate on a map.
Driving home from the show I passed lots of grass and continued to think about individualism and the part it plays in the whole. When I got home I flew that seeded airplane. When it landed it was immediately attacked by a groundhog in my backyard.