The pieces in this show were completed during my 2011-12 sabbatical leave from my position as Associate Professor at Eastern Oregon University. During this time I traded in my familiar oil paints in exchange for photos, magazines, scissors, and glue to create a group of collages depicting my infant daughter in a variety of surreal settings. The scenes were created using old doll-maker’s magazines, National Geographic magazines, Italian interior design magazines, and brochures for Canadian provincial parks and Tuscan tourism; combined with my own photos of the baby. The result is a strange world combining illogical spaces and multiple perspectives; alternately magical, disturbing, and beautiful. For me, these landscapes reflect the range of hopes and fears surrounding both childhood and child-rearing.
My work is driven by the technical challenge of piecing together intricate parts to create a cohesive whole. The transitions are never actually flawless, as closer inspection reveals sharp edges and layers of overlapping images from disparate sources. I find poetry in this complex relationship between the whole and the parts; where small pieces of imagery come together to form something altogether different and new. As a mother, I wish for all the complicated facets of society to come together harmoniously for my daughter’s safe passage. The Babyscapes collages render that impossible wish visible.
Jessica Plattner, 2012
“Babyscapes,” (solo) Medicine Hat Cultural Centre, Alberta, Canada, February 2012
"Jessica Plattner at Pendleton Center for the Arts," (solo) Oregon, October 2012
“To Be Continued: Jessica Plattner, Dawn Hunter, & Katherine Fraser,” Carr Gallery, Idaho Falls Arts Council, Summer 2013