Connectivity and Continuation: Charting dualities and similarities in the artistic practice of Jessica Douglas

Read ESSAY by Mirabelle Field on exhibiting artist Jessica Douglas' exhibition 'Cells' - on show at Northart 4 - 26 May, 2021. 

"Upon entering this exhibition we immediately encounter a unique and immersive space of bright colour and geometric forms. Woven plastic mats adorn the walls and floor, composed of plastic golf balls, syringes, and plastic tubing. These seemingly disparate and mundane elements combine to create intricate patterns through the artist’s touch. Through the use of the modern medium of plastic and their display in an art gallery context the traditional technique of weaving has been removed from its historical conventionality. Traditionally, weaving has been relegated to the status of craft and the context of home, due to its role as a female centred creative process and it’s close relationship to indigenous practices in New Zealand and across the Pacific. By displaying these woven works on the wall and floor, Douglas successfully elevates this historically vital female medium into the space of traditional artistic display, whilst also alluding to their potential functionality. For the artist, these works evoke the role of weaving in major life-cycle ceremonies, such as births, weddings, and funerals. During the course of these ceremonies the woven mat takes on a ritualistic identity, and their relationship to the traditional role of the woman as wife, mother, and homemaker is emphasised."

- Excerpt from Connectivity and Continuation: Charting dualities and similarities in the artistic practice of Jessica Douglas, by Mirabelle Field

 

Installation view of Jessica Douglas' exhibition 'Cells'

Image courtesy of the artist and Northart