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Artist Statement – Jackie Claiborne

This piece is very conceptual-based, so I didn’t find a need to buy or waste expensive materials. I utilized waste materials, including surplus textiles, paper, and discarded fabric. I used a past project as inspiration for the plastic forms and how the other materials act as well. For this project, I worked with new PET plastic. My goal is to source recycled scrap plastics for future projects and designs. To form the work’s body from my concept, I borrowed the idea of quilting, something I have applied to other art and design projects. I assembled the forms, one piece at a time, allowing them to take on their own shapes.

My artwork is very personal; it brings me joy, and I’ve been able to work with myself to protect my relationship with it. I have learned to care more about how it can help me explore, play, and connect with reality and spirituality rather than a vision of a final product. I hope that viewers can engage with the project with curiosity and playfulness, too.

I wanted to do a project that was an ode to my friend to help me grieve and honor her. I wanted something that celebrated dealing with dark and grim times in life. I felt a lot of happy moments at the same time as feeling really shitty things, and I wanted to do this project to help myself accept that both are going to happen and need to be respected to enjoy all of it. I have worked with dualism in past projects, and I wanted to carry my study of it into this piece. My goal was to use contrasting physical qualities to build a sense of opposing emotion. Lighter, airy forms make the viewer want to move and explore, whereas darker, heavier forms encourage stillness and reflection.

Dedicated to Jennifer Russell