Hi Friends!

Here is the documentation of the exhibition, including original photographs, statements, and images of sculptures and installation that were part of the show.  Stay tuned for more information about the core and meaning of each piece. It’s surreal, feeling the build up and tear down of such a personal exhibition, and such a pivotal time in my life.  Enjoy the images, I’ll report back soon!

 

 

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Well, it’s taken the better part of two years, lots of mountain top moments, and plenty of heartache.  The new work is finally realized, and that is the mountain-est of mountain top moments. I pushed myself as far as I could to make this work, hung out in all sorts of uncharted territory, learned to work with new materials, and see the process making photographs in a completely new way.  This body of work is the most intimate, most personal work I’ve ever made, and I didn’t hold anything back.

Below is the artist statement for the work.  Stay tuned for images of the installation and sculptures that accompanied the photographs in the opening exhibition, along with a virtual tour of the show.

I’m so excited to finally share this journey with you, I hope you enjoy the photographs!

TESTAMENT

In my work, I revisit themes of human fragility, pain, and eventually, recovery. I am attracted to vulnerability, to peeling back a skin that reveals something precious, dark, and insistently tender. I am compelled by the moments where people are on an edge, barely laced together, befriending disaster, remembering something, or exposing something.

I am curious about how relationships survive, why they dissolve, how people love one another, and how such love is expressed. In this work, I am investigating heavy burdens and how we carry them. I am interested in the spiritual labor of bearing weight, submission, futileness, and persistence.

To create the work, I rented an empty house for a year, and transformed it into a makeshift sanctuary, a freighted space for constructing photographs. I chose this house because it reminds me very much of the house I grew up in. It has a worn-in, gentle quality, and I felt connected to it the moment I walked through the door. In the photographs, each room is styled with sentimental textiles, trinkets, and colors that I remember from my 1980’s childhood home.

For each photograph, I fabricated sculptural objects using materials such as wool, linen, clay, human hair, and beeswax. The materials borrow symbolic language from the Bible, and create alter-like, fleshy masses. I imagine the house as a gateway, the silent space just before crossing over. The people in the photographs are in the final phase of bearing weight, moments away from finally laying it down. I am seeking the moment of relief, and relishing in the moments just before it occurs.

In the opening exhibition, each room included photographs, textile works, and objects.    If you looked carefully, you would see each stage of a sheep’s wool, and it’s evolution from the animal’s fleece to finished woven cloth.  Wool is shorn, picked, washed, carded, spun into yarn, dyed, and finally woven into a functional woven or felted textile. The sculptures and installations in the exhibition use Biblical imagery and symbolism to speak to specific moments of awareness in my spiritual journey.

I like to know and feel the moment where people fall apart, and saturate my work in it. I want to push at a breaking point, and hold out hope for restoration. These photographs are representations of quiet, ultra-still, delicate moments of raw humanness; the phase just after a laboring, aching fall and at the point when renewal inevitably begins.

Testament-1-2

 

 

 

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  • Dana - These are stunning and extremely emotionally charged. Beautiful work.ReplyCancel

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Front

I am so very excited (okay super giddy and sleepless) to announce the opening of my MFA Thesis Exhibition, Testament. The work has lived in my heart and imagination for so long, it is thrilling for me to see it finally touchable, tangible, living and breathing. It is a monumental moment for me to share this work, this heartfelt collection of feelings, convictions, and confessions with the world. As always, I sincerely hope the work will resonate with others, and sensitively express thoughts ideas gathered from my own life experiences.

In this work, I am investigating heavy burdens, hardships, and wounds, and how we carry them throughout our lives. I am interested in the spiritual and physical labor of bearing weight, submission, futileness, and persistence.

To create the work, I rented an empty house for a year, and transformed it into a makeshift sanctuary, a freighted space for constructing the photographs. I fabricated sculptural objects for each image, using materials such as wool, linen, clay, human hair, and beeswax. The materials borrow symbolic language from the Bible, and create alter-like, fleshy masses. The house reminds me very much of my childhood home, and provides a weighted, sentimental foundation for the images. Every object used in the meticulous staging of each scene references my childhood, and a time of spiritual emergence in my life. I imagine the house as a gateway, the space just before crossing over. The people in the photographs are in the final phase of bearing weight, moments away from finally laying it down. I am seeking the moment of relief, and relishing in the moments just before it occurs.

The final exhibition will take place in the rented house in Albuquerque, NM,  and includes twelve photographs, installation work, textile works, and sculpture.

The show is open for only one evening, so mark your calendar, and join us for this special time! (Insert Happy Dance)

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Ah, there’s nothing better than an art world pun.  Except maybe shells and cheese. Things have been brewing in my studio!  I’m better than half way through a new body of work that I’m so excited about I can hardly stand it.  This work has been years in the making, and has really changed the way I think, and how I approach making photographs.  You may remember a while back I created an entire room wrapped in one-inch strips of white muslin fabric, covered two chairs, a table, and filled the floor with white volcanic ash.  It took the better part of 6 months to create, all for one, singular photograph.  That process transformed me.  I’ve fallen in love with immersive space, working with my hands, evident labor, and creating full-scale objects for my photographs.  I’ve been thinking a lot about materials, and how they may translate symbolically.  For this work, I’m using a lot of wool, clay, water, ash, salt, linen, wood, and wax; all materials that are repeatedly Biblically referenced, and are laden with meaning.  In this new work, I’m creating sculptural burdens which are worn by people in my final photographs, representing our human relationship to pain and heaviness, and ultimately what it feels like to finally lay it down.

I listen to bluegrass music when I work.  The repeated themes of Crossing the River Jordan, laying down our heavy burdens, and rejoicing in the promised land are infused into this work.  The photographs are images of people in various stages of labor and rest.

Revelation 21:4: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

I have rented a house in Albuquerque for this work.  I think of it as a sacred resting place, or portal.  I am creating objects in my studio, then bringing them to the house to photograph with human models.  The final work is photographs, all of this reduced into a small, two dimensional image.  The opening exhibition of the work will take place in the house in October.  I’ll post lots more about all of this soon, I can’t spill all the beans just yet!

I’m not ready to show final photographs just now, but I thought it might be fun to show some snapshots of objects in progress in the studio. Mostly, these are just captured with the mighty iPhone, but are nice documents of what’s going on in my heart, my head, and my studio.  There are snappies of sculptures in progress, the studio, and the empty house.

Okay, and the first image is one finished photograph.  Just one. :)

 

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  • liza head - Jennifer – This is SO COOL. Can’t wait to see the finished result!ReplyCancel

  • Rod - I love your work, it is very imaginitive and thought provoking!

    I will get to watch your presentation this evening at the ELCC meeting in Albuquerque.

    Best of Luck,

    Rod Neil ThomasReplyCancel

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Hi Friends!

So, our July ‘Photographing Women’ workshop filled up in just a couple of days!  We had lots of folks on a waiting list wanting to join us, and lots of buzz and interest, which is really heart warming. :)  We have added a second identical workshop, August 1-4, 2014.  We have a few spaces still available, so I wanted to share the news!

Here is the workshop description!  Just send drop me a line (do people still say that?) if you have questions or want to join us.

Photographing Women | Workshop and Retreat  August 1-4, 2014

Join us for an intense and invigorating workshop experience that promises to refresh, enliven, and challenge you, and inspire you with incredibly beautiful and personal photographic, styling, crafting, and printing techniques.

We have fallen in love with the Motherwell Ranch, and can’t imagine having our private workshop anywhere else.  It is a completely private, breathtaking mountain paradise. Enjoy luxury accommodations, an incredible personal chef, open bar, fishing, horseback riding, hiking trails, and exquisite mountain views.  This is a place to re-center, refresh, and create.

Become inspired by four unique sessions featuring stunning models photographed amongst breathtaking landscape.  Explore Jenn’s unusual photographic methods and artistic processes, as she guides you through each session, asking and answering questions, and creating images interactively. Learn some of Jenn’s artistic processes in posing, lighting, styling, costuming, set design, and fine photographic technique. Learn to create a portable outdoor studio, a hauntingly beautiful set with a shallow tank of water, and digital tintypes as we costume and photograph models amongst horses, wild elk, and inspiring natural surroundings. Monday, learn interactively as Jenn shares her digital finishing and styling methods for antiquing her images and preparing them for printing.

 Come relax, refocus, and energize your love for this incredible craft in this intimate, personal, and resonant climate. We are excited for a wonderful new group of photographic artists and thinkers, and truly look forward this great adventure together.

 Cost for the workshop is $1600 and is all-inclusive.  Tuition, luxury accommodations for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening, all meals and cocktails for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning, ranch activities including horseback riding, and transportation to and from the airport are included. Tuition is collected at the time of reservation, and is non-refundable.  If you are unable to fulfill your reservation and we are able to fill it with someone on our waiting list, we are happy to reimburse you.

Motherwell Ranch is located just outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Guests may fly into either Denver International airport, or Yampa Valley Regional Airport.  A shuttle will be provided from Denver International on Friday evening prior to the workshop, and to Denver International on Monday afternoon at the close of the workshop.  Yampa Valley Regional Airport is minutes from the gate of Motherwell Ranch.

Space is limited to 15 students, and is filled on a first come, first serve basis.

Please email us to make your reservation.: olivegirl@me.com

 

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  • Wendy Stone - If there is a mailing list I could be added to please do! I would love to hear about future workshops.

    Thanks so much,

    Wendy StoneReplyCancel

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