JENNIFER PETTUS

Plot Twist 

May 24-June 25, 2017

EXHIBITION INFO

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

ARTIST STATMENT

The complication of life inspires me to use complicated combinations of materials and methods in my work. I create three dimensional shadowboxes, free form assemblages, and installations that defy categorization with calculated hodgepodge. I spend a lot of time “making the stuff to make the stuff,” re-purposing second-hand and throw-away materials with techniques like knitting, knotting, stitching, wrapping, staining, poking, gluing, and smashing. I use excessive texturing in conjunction with vibrant colors and curious objects to create a visual pull, asking the viewer to come closer than they might otherwise to a work of art. My hope is to use this material mishmash to keep the viewer engaged with clues to a certain complexity behind the familiar.

The work in Plot Twist stitches together the tactile qualities of fiber art and re-purposed mixed media often used in prop and costume construction to create objects for an unknown plot. The “plot twist” by definition is a tool for defying expectations. I am interested in its translation into a visual language. For a long time I have been fascinated with the ability of theater to bring people together in a shared, extraordinary, emotional experience. Live theater (but also amusements parks, carnivals, and even museums) give us a sense of the fantastic, pulling us out of our everyday existence to tell a story. Visual cues via props and costumes are vital to the illusion. They are replications designed to drive the plot forward or define a character. In conjunction with dialogue, they allow us to sensually inhabit a temporal world. We comprehend the story, in large part, through the interconnection of visual and verbal breadcrumbs. This work defies expectations by disconnecting the breadcrumbs with unexpected combinations of materials and techniques. It asks the audience to find a story whose outcome is not disclosed or guaranteed.

jenniferpettus.com

Curator: Jessica Kooiman Parker, gallery@firehouseart.org, 605.939.1008