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Jessica Baker
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Kensington



ARTIST STATEMENT: I work with materials from nature to create prints on paper, mixed media two and three-dimensional artwork and site-specific installations. Since I live in Brooklyn, NY, my primary resource has been leaves, seeds, branches and other materials that fall from the trees upon the streets and parks of New York City. I am interested in how the use of leaves and seeds to make prints on paper removes the plants from their usual context and imbues them with a permanence that does not exist in the natural world. Using multiple plates and colors, along with carefully executed arrangements, I endeavor to create intricate, multi-layered images and patterns that transcend the singular identity of the individual leaf or seed, yet somehow preserve the memory of each plant’s passage through the world. The transformation of nature’s detritus into art fascinates me. I dry or flatten some of the materials I work with, but I do not treat anything I collect with chemicals or preservatives. Dried plants can last for hundreds of years, but they, like everything in nature, have a limited life span. Eventually, the materials I have used will decompose, but the decomposition is an ongoing and evolving feature of my artwork and an expression of the impermanence of life as well as art. By using a leaf, branch or seed that has fallen from a tree, I endeavor to capture a moment in the growth and life cycle of that tree and to convey its transient beauty. It is perhaps this ongoing transformation through the inexorable passage of time, this mirroring of life, that has the greatest effect on me.
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