Decomposing Vistas

Decomposing Vistas

COMMUNITY GALLERY

Decomposing Vistas – Jenna Howell

January 27 - February 24

Opening Reception: January 27, 7-9pm

Artist Talk: February 24, 2-3pm

Artworks, Trenton is pleased to announce the opening of Decomposing Vistas, a solo exhibition consisting of painting and Fiber pieces by Philadelphia-based artist Jenna Howell, on view from January 27th –February 24th, 2018. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition and first with Artworks. There will be an opening reception on January 27th from 7-9pm.

Decomposing Vistas will feature both oil paintings and silk fiber pieces that speak to dichotomy of the vast picturesque landscapes seen on postcards and the beauty Howell finds in deteriorating landscapes. Behind the work are several dualities:  permanence and impermanence, the beauty of a pristine landscape and the beauty in its decay, Howell’s condemnation of the devastation of nature and her appreciation of the beauty that can result.  The work is not political, seeking to call attention to the devastating results of environmental unconsciousness rather, it investigates her conflicting emotional response to landscape, now so often ruined by humans, a conflict that Howell sees as fertile ground for art making.

Jenna Howell graduated from the University of the Arts with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting.  She currently creates and resides in Philadelphia however, Howell is originally from Newark, NY in the Finger Lakes region.  Howell has shown both locally in Philadelphia, with Fire and Air Gallery, as well as internationally in a three person show in Florence, Italy. She was the 2017 recipient of the Ted Carey Prize. Her work has been featured in Wunderkind, an online magazine publication, and Champion of Empty Room’s zine publications disturbed in Philadelphia.  Howell is current resident at the Jasper Studio in Philadelphia.

Her work can be found at http://jennahowell.net

"The waterfall that once poured into a clear pond at my favorite hiking spot   doesn’t even trickle anymore.  This waterless waterfall is horrifying, but also strangely   beautiful.  The sun still hits the peek and glimmers off the sedimentary boulders   bouncing from top to top until it reaches the now small mud puddle at its basin.  These   striking scenes are the catalyst to my current body of work.  My wish is to present an   exhibition that speaks to both the vast picturesque landscapes we see on postcards and   the beauty I find in the decomposing vistas. I am investigating such imagery through silk painting, wax and stitching.  In its   deteriorated state the wax speaks to the landscapes’ decay and destruction.  The layers   of the work –  dye, then wax, followed by dye, then stitching –  allude to a landscape that   was formed, then altered, then formed again just like the many landscapes that   surrounded me as a child.  I use horse hair in my work to stitch pieces of the landscape   together or to mend it.  The continuous repetitive step of piercing and tying each hair on   the surface forming a mountain feels cathartic.    Making almost surgical-like stitches   somehow works through the feelings I have about the destruction of the landscape.   Through the ripping and tearing apart and then mending and repairing, I feel I express   my distress about what we are doing to nature.     Behind this exhibition will be several dualities:    permanence and impermanence, the beauty of a pristine landscape and the beauty in its decay, my condemnation of the   devastation of nature and my appreciation of the beauty that can result.    The work is not political, seeking to call attention to the devastating results of environmental   unconsciousness rather, it investigates my conflicting emotional response to landscape, now so often ruined by humans, a conflict that I see as fertile ground for art making."

- Jenna Howell