Elizabeth Jameson

Artist Statement

My Interests as an artist encompass inquiries into and observations about our varied relationships with fear. In my ongoing body of work, I investigate our attempts to protect ourselves from fear and the effects of these efforts upon our lives through a series of objects and drawings that use restrictive and insulating garments as an iconographic metaphor for self-repression.

My childhood was spent in Japan, where I was exposed to such arts as flower-arranging, the tea ceremony and calligraphy. This experience was instrumental in the development of my love for an aesthetic of simplicity and restraint. My world was forever altered when I discovered the work of Marcel Duchamp and Eve Hesse. Duchamp fascinated me with his audacity toward the art world and with his expressed philosophy that art can be based on concepts. Hesse influenced me with her experimental use of materials and with the way in which her “hand” is so evident in her objects.

As an artist I strive to achieve a delicate balance between physical and intellectual experience. My drawings are based on a minimal and considered use of line and form, and their pictorial subjects, though fantastic, embody concepts of fear, excess, and humanity. My sculptures are composed of sensual and beautiful materials, such as crystallized sugar and diaphanous fabrics, which I select and shape to convey my ideas. The extreme scale of the objects, either diminutive or large, invites attention and transports the viewer to a magical, non-utilitarian world. My performances bring my drawing and sculptures into the real world, surprising the viewer and challenging myself. My work is informed by several elements: the process of drawing, which I do quickly and intuitively; the immediate nature of the materials themselves, and importantly, research I have done on historical costume and occupational safety uniforms.

My intent is to entice the viewer with work that is at once beautiful and disturbing, simple and enigmatic. I attempt to create work that is for the most part free of fixed identities in terms of race, politics, and nationality, allowing the viewer freedom for open-ended associations.


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