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Cornelia J Jensen

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Ranging from pure painting to found-object assemblage, my work explores the context of the "thing-in-itself" in relation to its environment. I integrate paint and hardware with natural and man-made objects such as ladybugs, milkweed, tin cans and circuit boards. The juxtaposition of disparate objects separates each element from its own history, while creating new narratives resembling reliquaries laced with nostalgia and irreverence. This new relationship between the natural and man-made materials decodes the evidence of the collective unconscious in our fabricated environment raising the question of what is meaningful or useless, beautiful or ugly, rare or common.

After doing a study of James Turrell's use of light as a medium, I was inspired to incorporate light into my own work. By creating the illusion of space appearing to have mass, Turrell's art distills the experience of our perception down to the moment of "seeing ourselves see". I use found Styrofoam packing material infused with internal lighting elements. The light pervades the material, illuminating the piece from within, it being the only source of illumination in the environment. Contrary to the effect of Turrell's work, light adds intangibility to mass, also challenging our perception. This mysteriousness enhances the emotional response to mundane materials and transforms our conception of what are avenues to the sublime.

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