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In the best creative scenarios, the mind and hand engage in a back-and-forth of impulse and revision, allowing the artist to step back metaphorically and watch, remaining open to the surprise of what unfolds. You can see the results of this process yourself at the City Gallery exhibit IN MIND AND HAND featuring new fiber work by Jennifer Davies, on view May 6 - May 29. There will be an Opening Reception on Saturday, May 7 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Davies is an accomplished and admired fiber artist who has exhibited her work across the country in galleries and museums. What sets her work apart is her ongoing inquisitive nature and her willingness to be the observer, to translate what she sees into both the making of paper and the creation of art.
She makes her own Japanese paper from mulberry branches which she cooks, cleans, and beats into a fluffy pulp. She then fashions this into artwork using techniques such as pulp painting, direct casting, and indigo dyeing. “Collage is another technique I use to build up layers of paper that have been painted or dyed with either indigo or persimmon. The impetus can be scraps and leftovers from other projects that beg to be assembled,” explains Davies, who also incorporates translucent sheets of kozo fiber, printed calligraphic shapes, and woven and sewn materials.
“Much of my work refers to natural forms, the surfaces of bark, boulders, or water,” says Davies. “Living by Long Island Sound, I see waves sliding onto the beach almost daily. I have tried to capture that feeling by pouring and splashing translucent pulp in layers over black paper. The smooth river rocks, long my companions for holding paper down in the breeze, I have honored by pouring pulp around them to suggest their silhouettes.”
Davies’ work was most recently featured at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society, Lexington, MA, and at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA. In 2019, she was awarded Best in Show at the Surface Design Association’s exhibit Context: Language, Media, and Meaning at the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, MA). She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and the Rome Honors Program, has studied and taught papermaking at Women’s Studio Workshop and Creative Arts Workshop, and has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows at museums and galleries including Hygienic Gallery (New London), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN), Artspace (New Haven), Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk), Hockaday Museum of Art (Kalispell, MT), Morgan Conservatory (Cleveland, OH), and the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking (Atlanta, GA). Davies’ work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. She is a long-standing member of the City Galley.
IN MIND AND HAND is free and open to the public, and runs May 6 - 29, 2022. City Gallery is located at 994 State Street, New Haven, CT 06511. Gallery hours are Friday - Sunday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., or by appointment (203-645-1404). City Gallery follows New Haven City’s mask mandate policy. For further information please contact City Gallery, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.city-gallery.org.