When We Were Young: Pyramid, oil on canvas, 24 x 30" SOLD
When We Were Young: Column, oil on canvas, 24 x 30"
When We Were Young: Tower, oil on canvas, 20 x 16" SOLD
Elevation, oil on canvas, 12 x 16" SOLD
Ringtail, oil on canvas, 20 x 16" SOLD
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
TREX Travelling Exhibitions
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Curated by Xanthe Isbister