Artist's Statement - JENNIFER LEIGH RICE
The origins of "Found Object Assemblage" in my work.
Since growing up on a farm in rural Tennessee, it's been the environment around me that has dictated my use of materials.
Found Object Assemblage is the form I use of bringing those elements together; it taps into both my love of odd, probably unusable, discarded items as well as an appreciation of more classical elements like paint and wood panels and canvas.
I find as I listen to each object that I've brought into my studio from the grassy alley or the windy beach or the abandoned parking lot or an old spanish-style elementary school; a sense of "Self-ness".
Each 'thing" has it's own voice and by hearing what is compelling that voice to speak I begin to understand what is "correct action" for the use of it: my neighbor's cast-off dancing shoes, or the gardener's broken garden hose, or the dumped off closet door in the alley. Each has it's own perspective; it is my job to honor it
As an adult, I'm a city dweller. The change in pace from our farm in Tennessee to Los Angeles, Ca; the smell of the air, the sheer volume of people and their discardables gives me another layer of experience, an additional perspective from which to work. Square shapes, metals, greys, blacks, the chemical processing of photography, blend in with the organic base of leaves, soft muslins and fabrics and flesh that inform my origins. An alchemical upheaval of emotion and wonder, futility and disgrace clash. These elements of wood, fire, water and air land in a heap at my feet. I trudge home with them - we begin our conversation. - jlr, spring 2009