FEBRUARY 3, 2017
ABOUT JESS WEEMS
My work is a constant search for the intersection between belief and fact, the spiritual and the scientific. It is here that humans can find a type of truth that takes us beyond our limiting beliefs and fears, and into new worlds. I see less lines between factual and mythical than perhaps I should as a science teacher, but teaching children has shown me that imagination can be a key ingredient to understanding some of the unbelievable facts of how our universe works. Or, as Madeleine L’Engle once said, “It is...through the world of the imagination which takes us beyond the restrictions of provable fact, that we touch the hem of truth.”
Alterations to the earth never cease. Human activity is continual. Biological and chemical processes and shifting tectonic plates do not take time off. Change is inevitable. Particles constantly vibrate. Information and data are beautiful. Patterns are everywhere. These are the beliefs and facts that influence my creative work.
It is by drawing attention to the aesthetic beauty of scientific data, migration patterns, geological processes, and the scars of highways across the land that I am working towards pushing the viewers outside of their own immediate concerns to see the literal bigger picture of this interconnected universe we dwell in. It is by pushing those viewers to consider parallels between hard science and ley lines, astrology and sacred geometry, that I ask us all to consider the impossible, leave open a door for the miracle, and let go of needing to place everything in a neat box.
The materials I use are primarily natural -- beeswax, resin, earth pigments, thread, fabric, paper -- and the processes of application are highly physical and technical. I brush on, scrape off, melt down, pour, and layer with the occasional metal object and stitching. Encaustic allows me to mimic weathering processes and create texture in the work. My intentions and my medium work together in these ways.
Albert Einstein believed that he could find the unifying factor of all forces, or a theory of everything. Some say math is the language of the gods. Pop culture continues to come back to ideas of connections in the universe and imagining deep space. I am inspired by these ideas and legacies -- inspired to create and visualize the intangible connections of unseen movements and inevitable change.