Artist Statement and Biography
the oneness of a complex or organic whole or of an interconnected series ; a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
The sculptures that I create are inspired by the unity I see in the world around me. I am interested in the way seemingly unrelated elements interact and intersect to form harmonic relationships. My sculptures accentuate the connections, visual patterns, and the contradictions that I experience in daily life. I juxtapose the macro and the micro to highlight visual parallels and to remind us that we are structurally connate with the world around us. I use abstractions of forms that are found in the many layers of our lives, be it industrial cogs or the shape of red blood cells flowing in our veins.
The ceramic process and materials are an important part of my sculptures. I use clay as my primary medium because of its potential to take any form. I use color, repetition, texture, and multi-layered glaze surfaces to give my pieces life and emotional content. My goal is to have my pieces pulse with life and I choose my glaze and color combinations to achieve this feeling.
Constructed Cartogram Series Statement
Artist Jennifer Brazelton wants you to experience nationalism in new and unexpected ways. For the past five years she has been creating sculptures using maps of nations whose shapes are altered by human population data. These oddly distorted two-dimensional cartogram drawings were created by Benjamin D. Hennig’s PhD research. Jennifer transforms these maps through research and her creative process into three-dimensional sculptures. She layers organic and patterned surfaces over the undulating clay in an effort to make the sculptures pulse with life. The countries she sculpts are topical and in the media. An article about the series is available on Ben’s website. http://www.viewsoftheworld.net/?p=2171#more-2171
Sculptor Jennifer Brazelton began her career by winning first prize in her first grade art show. The now infamous sculpture, an unfired clay work, needless to say, is no longer in her collection; however the memory of that early inspiration continues to motivate her artistic work.
Jennifer was born and raised in the Arizona desert, by Midwestern parents, who kept their family grounded with a mixture of hard work and ingenuity. Jennifer’s father, a construction worker with a passion for building custom cars and airplanes, taught Jennifer that creativity could lead to sustaining life choices. Jennifer’s mother, an art therapist and stay at home mom filled their days with the popular art media of the 1970’s and an endless a cycle of new and imaginative methods of expression.
These early influences, using visual art as a way of channeling feelings, remain an important part of Jennifer’s art practice. The beauty and excitement of the flow of ideas from the unconscious mind to the conscious is an important catalyst for her present work. She endeavors to embrace the uncomfortable and the unknown. The contradictions of the world around her are expressed in the interconnectedness of her sculptural gestures.
Another early passion for Jennifer was travel. As a travel agent she journeyed to as many places as she could, both near and far. Long airline flights to destinations such as, Thailand, Indonesia, Micronesia, Laos, Turkey, and Hong Kong provided inspiration in the ever changing landscapes below her window seat. The connections, shapes, and colors, layered themselves over each other. Rivers and roads became branching trees, human veins, and knots of rope. These remote scenes from distant lands merged in her imagination with the desert landscapes of her youth and became the inspirations for her sculptural abstractions.
Though traveling was a quest, it did not sustain Jennifer’s innately creative side. Her many experiences in distant places led her to San Francisco where she went back to school to finish her degree. She continued her art practice with an MFA from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in ceramic art.
Jennifer lives in San Francisco with her husband and has her studio at Dome Studios in Oakland, CA. She teaches college level art courses at California State University East Bay, Ohlone College, and Skyline College. Her work is represented in the Lark Books publication “500 Raku Pieces”, as well as Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist's Guide to Glaze and Color by Brian Taylor and Kate Doody, and by Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.