Jennifer Nagle Myers
As an artist, I explore the imagination like a cartographer. I map this personal and collective landscape as two separate sites, both highly influential and inspiring. What is possible within each? Art allows me this expansive freedom, and I adore my time spent there. It is always time well spent. While mapping the personal, I examine my symbolic, emotional, and deeply complex intuitive space and translate it into marks, shapes, forms, and images that become drawings, sculptures, and crafted photographs. While mapping the collective, I work with other people in a collaborative way that involves site-specific performance for public spaces that commonly are made into short films. My practice has a dualism that complements itself: the personal work is extremely solitary, created in a studio with no collaborators. The performances are made in conversation and collaboration with many people and help me develop my own movement vocabulary. Both veins of my practice allow me to cultivate and replicate different versions of radical energy that I believe are essential to any art-making pursuit.
Specifically, I am interested in what happens between media, coming from a strong tradition of fluxus art and intermedia practices from the mid-1960s. These fertile and experimental crossroads allow me to discover the unexpected, encounter the unnamed, and respond to ideas I did not see coming. It feels fresh and full of potential when it really works, in ways that parallel progressive social movements. I take great inspiration and wisdom from social and environmental justice movements of the past and present, and use this political work to marinate my artistic work. As an artist who identifies as queer and feminist, this also highlights my desire and understanding of the personal as political.
My recent studio work has been a continued, deepening exploration with slate and mark-making. This interest began a few years ago when I began ‘The Neverending Book of Women’s Rights’, a conceptual and physical book that contains an infinite number of slate pages of many sizes. Recently I have become interested in the ways that slate can perform as both sculpture and ground for drawings, and within that space of tension new work is being produced in two separate bodies. Waterfall Visionspeak to the relationship of the earth body to the human body and American history and herstory, in cascades of slate that span more than 40’ long. I mark these cascades with gesso and acrylic, in what I consider my own earth alphabet.