These mixed media drawings demonstrate a fascination with the relationships between things of nature and those of human imposition. With the application of photo transfers, tonal papers, and drawing media onto rag paper or panel, tree-based figures are constructed, whose bodies are awkwardly fused with metal gates, antennas, stone, and other architectural motifs.
Each of these tree-forms is an ancient, sentient thing whose lifespan evokes the rise of fall of civilizations and the forests they occupy. A people enters a forest, clears it, and builds upon it. The village grows into a mighty city, perhaps an empire, and eventually, inevitably, the people abandons its city, and the civilization dies. As their great monuments crumble into ruin, the forest slowly encroaches and reclaims its right for dominance. The ancient trees and ruin bump up and press against each other, causing tension and ultimately fusion. The result is a forest of hybrid beings, comprised of metal, stone and branch.
Based in Long Beach, CA, Jennifer Gunlock is a traveler who imbeds her wanderings into the artmaking process. With an attraction to crevices, old growth and decay, she photographically collects imagery such as the gnarled oaks and cemetery crypts of New Orleans, lichen-covered slate rock cliffs of Pennsylvania, and the beautifully decaying Beaux-Arts and Art Deco buildings of Los Angeles, to later deconstruct and assign new meaning in the studio.
Jennifer has earned an MFA at California State University, Long Beach in 2003. She has exhibited nationally and in local venues such as Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Angels Gate Cultural Center, and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. She has also been Artist in Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming and at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 2014-15 Jennifer participated in in “Fires of Change,” an NEA-funded collaboration between artists and scientists, to translate the social and ecological issues surrounding wildfire in the Southwest. Following a fire science bootcamp in the Grand Canyon, and a year to complete a project, a group exhibition opened at Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, Arizona in September 2015 and traveled to the University of Arizona Museum of Art.