Jennifer Pettus

Jennifer Pettus

Worked on Convergence Station


My art practice uses play to reconsider the disenfranchised in concept and form. I am interested in used materials and ordinary domestic items for their stories and their potential to be extraordinary. Collecting cast-off textiles and household objects from family members, garage sales, and roadside debris, I start by making the stuff to make the stuff. I consider the materials’ history evident in the stains and imperfections as a guide when I alter them. By stitching, marking, sorting, and imagining, I add my story to theirs. Then, as I pull from my stockpile of modified treasures, I tease out new structures, working intuitively on multiple pieces until a series evolves from physical and conceptual interactions. My approach is an open one with little planning or sketching, relying heavily on discovering new and unlikely connections through experimentation. Each piece can be viewed as a complex entity with meanings both independent of and reliant on the works around it. In many ways this reflects the ever-shifting existence we all share. The beauty of play is in its ability to use humor and permissiveness to inspire curiosity and tolerance as agents of personal growth and social change. I try to create tactile experiences full of contradiction that dislodge traditional structures separating art and craft. I hope to unsettle our assumptions about form and function and encourage the ability to see and value differently.

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