I like to think of childhood as a place: a vast, intricate landscape with ever-changing
terrain to discover and explore. This place is filled with contradictions: it is beautiful and scary, boundless and tiny, magical and logical, dangerous and safe. Childhood is a place where anything can happen, the openness of which is wonderful but also unsettling. For this exhibition I decided to explore these ideas in a series of invented landscapes populated with children and animals. I'm inspired by my own small daughter’s capacity for wonder and fear, and also by memories of my own childhood. When I was my daughter’s age, my family spent extended periods of time in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru. My brother and I loved exploring each new place and discovering different cultures. Still, we spent much of our time playing long-running games of make-believe which existed in imaginary spaces: underground hide-outs, castles, abandoned labyrinths. In this way we saw the real world through the filter of our play-world.
Maybe because of these early experiences, I am deeply inspired by Latin American magical realist fiction, in which unexplained or illogical elements appear in otherwise believable settings. In my paintings, I want this strangeness to feel somehow familiar, revealing small truths about the human experience, for children and adults alike.
-Jessica Plattner, 2017
5-person Exhibition curated by Xanthe Isbister
TREX Travelling Exhibitions
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
2017 - 2019