“In my work, I explore images of extinction, death and transformation. I am fascinated with the natural processes of decay and destruction—particularly when in conflict with human systems. Nature is referenced, not by depicting the virile stag, but by illustrating its inevitable decay. Valuing macabre sensibilities, I create sculptures that cross over the slippery edge of life into what might lie beyond.
An investigation of the unconscious mind and our inextricable link to the animal world may reveal certain truths about the human condition. “Lyuba Twins” is a purposely-ambiguous sculpture—the animals, although realistically rendered, are non-specific in species (are they deer, sheep, baby buffaloes)? They are also defined as neither alive or dead. The viewer is invited to interpret the sculpture in a similar way that a ‘subject’ is asked to interpret an inkblot from the legendary Rorschach Technique. As the interpretation of the inkblot theoretically reveals a description of the subconscious mind of the subject, the viewers’ interpretation of this piece may also provide insight.
Occasionally, I use imagery from horror films and the moment of transformation—particularly, when a human becomes a beast. This transgressive imagery creates tension in the work, especially when produced from the medium of clay—with its strong historical ties to comfort and beauty. Rooted in traditions of pantheism and superstition, the horror movie depicts a dark side of human nature. Mutated creatures, such as the ravenous werewolf, are created in the murky depths of our collective subconscious. These images ride the boundaries between animal and human, instinct and reason, the conscious and the subconscious.
In a more humorous tone, recent pieces such as “Hoof Heels” also evoke our inextricable link to the animal world. The heels are inspired by both contemporary fashion trends (Designer AF Vandevorst) and ancient folklore (Pan). They imply that the fashion-conscious viewer can easily embody the primal, animal self.
This investigation reveals the honesty of humanity. Embracing all aspects of ourselves, taking a closer look at the “shadow side” of the human condition is my attempt to discover truth. This truth stems from acknowledging our imperfections and recognizing humanness (and dignity). Comprised of evocative, poignant layers of meaning, I invite the viewer to contemplate what it means to be human, to connect with a deeper side of oneself.” Roxanne Jackson
Visit Roxanne Jackson’s website.