Artist Statement Jessica Bell - PDF
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The Old Foundry Building 1790 Vernon Drive Vancouver, BC V6A 3T8 604-803-4891 www.jessicabellart.com firstname.lastname@example.org Artist Statement Jessica Bell When I paint on pieces of wood or stitch together bits of scrap into sewn drawings, I am trying to see the city where I live as more than a physical landscape and more than assembled structures; I am trying to see my city as a collection of ideas about space and place. Robert Irwin has suggested that ‘seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees’. This is the way that I want to see my city. I want to see Vancouver as the space that resonates within me as my home. Can its space be set apart from other urban spaces? Does it hold markers? The markers that identify a city can be structure or industry, engineering and infrastructure, areas for living and areas for working, sites for disposal and sites for creation. I am looking for these markers in form and color, and in the relationship of their forms one to another. I assemble both the paintings and the sewn drawings as patches of space on a larger surface, connecting the patches together with line and stitch. Linked together, these patches create areas with the familiarity of place as they relate to the open spaces around them. Sometimes the sewn drawings precede the paintings as an exercise in memory of the markers of a city. Other times the paintings and sewn drawings converse one to another, determining end forms like building plans being altered mid-construction. The paintings and the drawings are not distinctly separated to me; they are at their essence the same. The method in making, laying one form or color or line over another onto the landscape of a surface is the same in the lying down of paint or in the connecting of fabric or paper scrap. This process, the assemblage of space in form and color and its installation on a surface or ‘landscape’ imitates the way that cities are made. This process both comes from and results in seeing my city as both a mere connection of spaces and as a place with the knowledge of home.