Specimen is an ongoing series of box constructions. Currently, there are sixty pieces in this group made from one or more insects along with various other objects. Many of the found objects in the constructions are affixed to a collaged image from renaissance paintings. These elements are arranged in a visual correspondence, drawing associations from art history, nature, and pop-culture that result in an assemblage of found objects from contemporary life and relics from the past. As the objects are re-stated in my boxes their visual reference is deferred, amalgamating into a fresh incarnation.
My work is embedded with a Victorian sensibility, and pays homage to a systematic tradition of natural history of collection, classification and display. I am inspired by a variety of collections; from entomological specimens and archaeological artifacts, to the vernacular iconography of religious symbols and packaging on supermarket shelves. In method, my tendency toward collecting paired with my occupation and trade as a custom frame-maker provides a natural formula for the box construction. My initial inspiration towards assemblages came from Joseph Cornell, the seminal American box artist. In his work, as in mine, the panorama of illusions contained within each box chronicles an experience as both collector and creator, which is then hermetically sealed to form an immaculate, self-contained reality.
Scissor Drawings are an exercise in drawing. The images are never sketched first, only cut directly with scissors from black paper. Scissors as an unconventional drawing tool challenges the hand to describe what the mind knows to be accurate. The drawings are applied to the pages that have been removed from a 1925 Funk & Wagnalls Practical Standard Dictionary. The text adds an incidental commentary to the work and images from the 2,500 pictorial illustrations provides a rich resource for each drawing. The drawings have origins in 18th century cut silhouettes, created from cast shadows. My images are repeated until an image naturally evolves to a satisfying resolution. The drawings are presented in multiples to accentuate the compulsive nature of the drawings and to develop a narrative for each series.
Jennifer Koch and Gregg Blasdel have been collaborating on a series of large format prints titled Marriages of Reason since 2004. The primary medium is woodblock and etching with various experimental techniques. The images are arrived at through sharing ideas based on a general theme that allows each artist to freely invent throughout the early stages of the process. The images are slowly wed and a final print is realized. All of the plates and boards are cut to explicitly conform to the literal shape of the image allowing a greater freedom to join images.
Jennifer Koch 2011
Jennifer Koch 5 Mill Street, Burlington VT 05401