In my practice I investigate the directions, connections, and moments in between attraction and repulsion: when do we consider growth a source of beauty and life? When does appreciation give way to disgust? How do we determine if growth is considered positive and beneficial or, in contrast, negative and malignant? How does time positively or negatively affect an environment? In my current work, I am exploring the kinds of growth associated with the aftermath of destruction or decay and the dilapidating effects of time. I am inspired to pursue this interest and curiosity by many artists and themes. Artists such as Lynda Benglis, Tara Donovan and Kate MccGwire create great works of organic shape and concept that have the power to be both beautiful and unnerving, something my work displays well. Pop culture has inspired me through depictions of the mutant and post-apocalyptic, such as the Upside-Down of Stranger Things and the dystopian worlds of numerous books and movies.
Thus far in my practice I have focused more specifically on the concept of mold. Mold is an organic material often associated with decay, rot and deterioration, all of which are crucial to its ability to grow and survive. I have used multiple materials in my practice of mimicking such an organic and unpredictable formation and have found the use of polyurethane foam to be quite effective. It’s bulbous and biological appearance is perfect in trying to recreate the patterns often found in mold growth. I have used the foam to create simple ‘growths’, cover objects and even create text pieces. In these pieces I have chosen to limit the color pallet of my pieces in order to allow both the texture and material to stand out, as well as the message of the piece.
Now and in the future, I am taking my practice in a slightly different direction. As I’m focused on a very natural and biological concept, something that grows and thrives on decay until it too begins to wither and rot, I plan to give my art a life cycle as well. I am beginning to introduce more organic and living materials into my work so that it will mimic even the timeline of the fungi, molds and environments that inspire me. I am doing this by growing different plants and fungi by using other deteriorating organics as their substance for growth. I am intrigued by the idea of creating pieces that will grow, become art and then decay before it returns to the Earth. I will continue to pursue different, more traditional, parts of my practice, such as painting and sculpture in which I will focus more on the concept of dilapidation and the effects of time on structures, artifacts and environments.
Jessica Hill is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities BFA Program, focusing in painting and installation. Her work has been exhibited in multiple galleries including the Paul Whitney Larson Art Gallery and Co Exhibitions Gallery.
Ceramics (Hand building, wheel throwing)
Photography (Digital, 35mm)
CNC Router Operation
Darkroom Film Development
Exhibition Planning and Curating