Jessica Peterson: Habitat
Oct. 18 — Nov. 22, 2022
Artist Reception and Talk: Oct. 29, 11:00 AM
My works are internal worlds, invented environments comprised of bird nests, void spaces, the subaquatic, and the juxtaposition of hard and soft forms. These pieces are not meant to be realistic representations but my own reflection of how I perceive my environment. While on walks and canoeing, my eye moves directly to vibrant colors, and particular textures which take over a large area, for example moss on a forest path. Birds and their nests are a large part of my conceptual content because of this. I then become engaged with my environment, looking for holes (to which I refer to as the void) and large groupings of textures and colors.
Cliff swallow birds make hundreds of nests in clusters, each nest almost enclosed besides a small hole for them to come in and out of. These small spaces inside create a safe space or what could be the void, as we the viewer are unable to observe what happens inside due to the nests being almost closed. In these holes and voids, we also see these creatures peeking out or swooping in and out, bringing food or building supplies, and helping new life emerge. Through recreating and contemplating these voids, I find myself secure and comfortable in these forms.
While I use multiple processes, throwing on the wheel and hand building with casting slip are my preferred tools. In throwing on the wheel, I can constantly change the form, making each different. In hand building with casting slip, I examine and test the fragility of the material as the form gets taller and wider.
I create my soft sculpture forms with block printed fabric embellished with embroidery floss and flocking. In my ceramic works I regularly use casting slip screen printed on hand-built forms. These forms are covered in nylon, flocking, spray paint, and misc. materials I find in my studio. With these materials in I can recreate the textures and colors I reference from my environment, especially those of lichen and moss. The reticulated glazes I make and fire to cone 04, electric heighten these forms. In my printed works, I use lithography, screen print, and linoleum and watercolor.
Jessica Peterson is an artist living and working in Indiana. She received both her BFA (2016) and MA (2018) from Governors State University in University Park Il. She then attended Purdue University and received her MFA in 2021. She currently is a Limited Term Lecturer in the Studio Arts Program for Purdue University. In her spare time, she enjoys walks and canoeing. Through these activities she continues to observe her environment and take inspiration for her work.