Jill M. Armstrong


CAAF Residency st[art]@Art Central, September – October 2011




My visual artwork is diverse and multimedia in nature, incorporating everything from drawing and painting to found-object sculpture and assemblage, a practice and general approach that also spills over into animation and poetry writing.

I work for the pleasure of holding the process of invention in my hands, and I make the pieces I make because I need to see them and know them. I believe that whatever the work is, it will evolve through whatever material is most appropriate for it. Or, from a different angle, and not quite the same, the work will express itself through a form or meaning a given raw or discarded material might suggest about itself.

Currently, I am working on a series of 4×6″ ink pen drawings, alongside a related series of relatively large-scale charcoal drawings of surreal-looking objects and environments. The drawings are pure invention, but my intention is to give these inventions form & presence and the matter-of-factness of recognizable objects. As a part of a current obsessive, even ritualistic, practice I draw one or two ribbons on a page, interweaving it/them in a relaxed, almost watery, often calligraphic motion, based on which pattern creates the most relaxed and natural pathway, until they create an elegant structure, made up of a series of interwoven curves and loops. The resulting structure is usually floating in an indeterminate, dreamlike space, often with rain in the background. I am playing with energy on paper, to create a (hopefully) convincing 3D construction on a 2D surface.

I am also continuing an ongoing stream of objects I invent through the juxtaposition, manipulation, and repurposing of found materials and objects which carry their own meaning. The sculptures and constructions are usually made from found objects selectively juxtaposed by a desire to see something transform or create a leap of imagination. In short, I borrow or adopt found objects and then deconstruct and reassign their purpose.

I call this residency and exhibition Echo Chamber because there is a distinct echo in this room, and in the general space beyond this room, and because there is a constant and resounding echo between the works. During my St[art] Residency at Art Central, I will be working on my continuing series of 4×6″ drawings, using black ink and white pigment ink pens, as well as continuing my practice of marrying found objects and joining materials together to make new things I didn’t have before out of things I already had. There will also be previously created and larger works on display from my regular studio practice.

I’m working in this St[art] Residency space in order to, first of all, set up a temporary practice in a new space as a way of seeing some of my existing work in a neutral environment; also to see what a change of environment will do for two ongoing parallel practices; and to welcome people into this very public space to look at the work and ask me any questions they might have. Many of the works will be available for purchase, as well.