Jessica Augier: Elusive Encounters

BFA Solo Exhibition, Slocumb Galleries, East Tennessee State University
April 19th-23rd, 2010


Elusive Encounters Gallery

The intangibility of one’s self is the catalyst for this work. I find that the struggle for identity is a universal issue, a matter that I share with everyone. The individuality of each human being is constantly progressing, a product of memories, interactions, and environment. I am especially interested in the point in one’s life when the transition from adolescence to adulthood is primary. The physical change in one’s body and the integration of sexual instincts makes this time very influential in the self-discovery process. From a feminine perspective, I am aware that even after this point in life there continues to be a push and pull between innocence and maturity. My intention is to capture the complicated, layered uneasiness connected with this struggle.


The imagery I have been working with for this series features an anonymous female figure and a chair. In tandem these two focal elements create a narrative. I see the chair as a representation of the figure’s Self; it is at the same time a part of her and separate from her. She is interacting with the chair in different ways, which parallels how one can interrelate with their personal identity.


By creating a pared down environment with a flattened background the atmosphere becomes ambiguous, secluded, and edited to reflect the starkness and tension of the narrative while highlighting the importance of that moment. This elicits the connection with the identity crisis in that it involves struggle with isolation, reflection and acceptance. The existence of dynamic patterns within the paintings, such as the dress fabric itself, is another reflection of the dense, complex interior world of the psyche.

 

My paintings tell the story of an individual caught within the constant search for self. This is a theme integral to children’s stories like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, which involve young women on a journey of self-discovery. I find it intriguing that this journey leads to a suggested loss of innocence, a matter that has profoundly affected my work. There is a fairy tale-like quality to the paintings, enhanced by the nontraditional cropping and spatial nuances. I intend for the viewer to connect with the figure through the odd perspectives and awkward situations in which she is found.

 

Exhibition List:

Accidental Meeting, Oil on Panel, 2009, 6ft x 3ft

Binary System, Oil on Canvas, 2010, 5ft7in x 6ft7in

Subconscious Support, Oil on Canvas, 2010, 4ft x 4ft

Tipping Point, Oil on Panel, 2009, 4ft x 3ft

Narrow Crossing, Oil on Panel, 2010, 4ft x 3ft

Pilgrimag Tryptych, Oil On Panel, 2010, Left- 3ft x 5ft, Center- 4ft x 2ft, Right- 3ft x 5ft