framed feathers, found fiction and familiar faces

17 Jul

As requested I am sharing some gallery shots of my current exhibition on display in Invermere, BC at Pynelogs Gallery, that I’ve titled framed feathers, found fiction and familiar faces. This solo collection of work is displayed with 5 other artists solo works. There have been 6 sales so far and those that don’t sell after two weeks will have a proud place in my Tour of the Arts booth, Blackstar Gallery or my etsy shop after that. The first portion of the show I’ll share first is the large scale installation framed feathers, which I have been blogging about for a few months.This work speaks to the notion of collecting, both figuratively and physically. The frames represent the physical entity of collecting, as they were found and collected from thrift and charity shops around British Columbia and Alberta. The feather images represent a figurative notion of collecting, much like memories or experiences with species that are added to a birder’s life collection. This installation plays with the juxtaposition of old and new / found and created. It is mounted on a custom-made pine board, with a milled frame, and a min-wax stain coat which my father lovingly helped me build. I am really happy with how the collection has come together as a whole, and was thrilled to have created a pleasing composition after having played around with the position of the frames for hours… it is definitely the highlighted portion of my collection, in the show. Four of these little feathered beauties are going home with some wonderful nature lovers to help decorate their nests. My six etchings, the familiar faces portion of my show, are hung in a room with some figurative sculptural mixed media. The photos were a bit tough to take, as the glass loves to reflect everything. So I got up close for photos (you can see me standing there taking them) but I hope you can view the prints well enough to get a sense of them. Detail shots of them will show up on my blog eventually as I will be editioning these plates during my stay. This series is the first suite of etchings that I’ve produced since Graduation in May 2010, so it felt good to get back to my intaglio printmaking roots. They are all portraits: a closer look at an individual animal’s feelings and temperament, with a focus on their gorgeous details and textures. The third and final component of my show was my altered book work, found fiction. It was hung in a small section of the gallery, short of the barn owl piece which was placed closer to framed feathers. These books explore a variety of ideas but as always with my altered bookwork, I allow the forgotten printed volume to be the initial source of inspiration; the found poems dictate the imagery which covers or masks the unselected words. Most pieces use a mix of medias including drawing, painting, collage and photography. The first book featured here is one of the books that has sold. Titled Childhood Friend, it is the longest, most personal found poem I have ever written: “since I got here / I have this very upbeat have-a-nice-day thing going on / the water as sincere as a very real moment / I was energized by some places more than others / Here we grow up with the country like a friend /in time it turned into a tiny part of me / I knew it had never done anything to shake my trust” The polaroids were both taken here in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia, Canada.This next mixed media book is titled His True Identity and the poem reads “the animal known as the fox / has a good heart.” The fox is one of my favourite animals and is far too often referred to as a sly crook, so I felt the need to set the record straight.This book with the graphite owl drawing is titled Dozing and Dreaming and was inspired by one of my uncle’s many animal photographs he sends me, this one in particular is of a saw-whet owl sleeping: “a heart that was deep in thought / as he sat and rested.” Another book that played with polaroids is titled Shoreline to Wine and features collage and a polaroid taken on the coast of the Napa Valley on my way to a wine tour “far down the coast / yards away.”The next book is the other that has sold so far and was inspired by my best friend Nick’s Mom Bev, who collectes bones, rocks, nests, and other natural trinkets to arrange lovingly in her greenhouse. I have many inspiring photos from that space, but in particular she has two found skulls that both hang on the wall and hold nests on top of their heads. When I came across some of these words, the ideas fit together naturally.  “Bold white stranger held a home by his head .
This piece I think is heavily influenced by my parents (who are both architects). I have always appreciated ornate decoration and beautiful buildings, so this poem and imagery came quite naturally:  “a European object / with a beautiful past.” It features the film side of a polaroid transfer, mixed media drawings and a ribbon that hangs much like a bookmark keeping place of the page.One other altered book is in the show, but I documented it and shared it with you earlier on the post flying to another nest. I wish you could just come view the entire exhibition with me in real life, but I hopefully you enjoyed this virtual sneak peek. Comments and feedback about my new work are very much welcomed & encouraged. Thanks for reading.

16 Responses to “framed feathers, found fiction and familiar faces”

  1. Nick Oostyen 17/07/2011 at 11:59 #


  2. Anna Jane Searle 17/07/2011 at 12:12 #

    I am totally blown away. You have obviously put a lot of hard work into this exhibition. Congratulations. The layout really grabs my attention with all the different frames….excellent composition. I would love to have one of your etchings and in fact I would love to know how to do it as well. Next time I send you a mail art package I’m going to try and do an altered art book piece. You know the fish sticker thing you do, I would like to join in and place one here in England. If that’s OK?

    • naturesmyfriend 17/07/2011 at 12:24 #

      Thanks anna! you are always so supportive and have such nice things to say about my work. Thank you. I wish I could send you a trout, but I sent all 25 away at once… I don’t have any extras. However, I have been thinking long and hard about a new INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE PROJECT which will probably get launched in August. I will make sure to include you.

  3. Russelle Adams 17/07/2011 at 13:03 #

    So beautiful! I knew it was going to be amazing..but to see your work all together….so much gorgeous work!!! Congratulations ! (Heedless)

  4. ezerd 17/07/2011 at 13:31 #

    Wow, Jessica! I wish I could see it in person!

  5. Jeannine | SaylorMade 17/07/2011 at 20:12 #

    Good for you! This looks really great!!

  6. Carol Whitley 17/07/2011 at 21:53 #

    Jessica, Thanks so much for sharing this with those of us who can’t see it in person. I wish I could. Everything is so beautiful. I truly enjoyed seeing all of inspiring work.

  7. Jess @ Brown Paper Bunny 17/07/2011 at 22:23 #

    Amazing, and wonderful. Really really wonderful!

  8. Thuraya Lynn 17/07/2011 at 22:25 #

    Magnificent arrangement and thoughts brought into this series, I’m bewildered.
    Amazing work! A priceless share.

  9. Kye Sangha 17/07/2011 at 23:01 #

    This is all -so- beautiful.

  10. anika 19/07/2011 at 10:19 #

    Wow! It looks so great! The way the framed feathers is displayed is completely marvelous. I love the custom-made wooden background–the perfect touch. All the etchings look great framed consistently too. Your altered books are totally wonderful. The Dozing & Dreaming with the saw-whet owl sleeping is my favorite. :) I think it’s cause I’m a fan of your graphite drawings, plus it’s such a cute owl!

  11. Charlotte Vallance 19/07/2011 at 11:16 #

    I love the quirky collection of lovely frames, images and bit and pieces! Such a feast to look at!

  12. Marcus Jackson 22/07/2011 at 18:50 #

    Looks FANTASTIC Jess! Good Luck with the opening here’s to TONS of sales, an empty car on the way home and a nice FAT wallet!


  1. framed feather giveaway | - 15/08/2011

    […] July, I had a solo exhibition and created a large installation piece titled “framed feathers” which featured original feather inspired images mounted in found frames of wood & faux […]

  2. the catch of the afternoon | - 26/09/2011

    […] in the comments! If you enjoyed viewing this style of work feel free to visit my portfolio site or this previous blog post about my solo show this past July to see more of my altered book work. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", […]

  3. kindred spirits | - 28/11/2011

    […] of all types of avian creatures has grown exponentially (especially this past summer with my framed feathers installation) tree swallows will always hold a claim on a special place in my heart as one of my favorite […]

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