Cynthia Jensen
(415) 497-1328

Artist Website
www.cynthiajensen.com

Artist Statement

My work tells the story of the impact of civilization and industry on our environment. It’s about the growing threat our industrial society poses to the interconnectedness of all living things and to our very existence. Inspired by specimens and artifacts in museums of natural history and anthropology, I imagine what we would leave behind, what would be found after we are gone, and what that would tell about us.

I use materials such as paper, bark, wood, leather, plastic, bone, clay and metal, as well as recycled and found objects. I often challenge perception by using a natural material to mimic an industrial material, or the reverse. Soft leather appears to be barbed wire; rusted cans are made of porcelain; buckets and pipes are actually layers of delicate hand-made paper.

My sculptural work takes many forms: nests and eggs, vessels, plant and animal inspired pieces, masks and heads, and mixed media assemblages, I often work in a series in which the interrelationship of the individual pieces contributes to the overall impact. I create sculptures that have been stripped down to bare essence, resulting in fragmented and somewhat skeletal pieces. Negative space is a significant element in all of my work.

Many of the processes I use are reductive as well. I bleach, melt, burn, drill, cut, scratch, and tear my materials, and I deconstruct found objects. Conversely, I weave, stitch, layer, tie, mold, cast, nail, screw and weld elements together. I stress texture, line and movement. Color is multi-layered and ranges from quite subtle to bold. Image and text are often incorporated through silk-screening and other printing methods, and surfaces are embellished with paints, pigments, dyes and patinas.

I create contemporary artifacts illustrating the effects of our actions on our fragile ecosystems--on the plants, the animals, the air, the water, and each other.