My most recent series combines flower/botanical forms with fragments of the human body in order to address the narrative of human life cycles: growth, metamorphosis, aging, death. The choice to use flower and plant forms is multi-layered. Flowers have been used throughout history as symbols of the feminine: ‘she is as delicate as a flower.’ It can be found in mythology, literature, folklore and visual art. Western culture has an intricate system of flower symbolism that has been a way for humans to express and communicate complex emotions. I am interested in using these symbolic references in order to talk about issues of gender and identity.
I created these work to be intentionally humorous and ironic. These human/plant hybrids are large, voluptuous, headless, and armless. The flower forms become a negation, a censoring or denial of what lies beneath. These anthropomorphic beings are at once, powerful and powerless, beautiful and absurd, inflated, and amputated.
Jessica Calderwood is an image-maker and sculptor who uses a combination of traditional and industrial processes as a means to make statements about contemporary life. Her work is imbued with personal stories and vibrant color.
She received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and her MFA from Arizona State University, with an emphasis in Metalworking. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally in curated and juried exhibitions. She has participated in artist residencies with the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program and the Mesa Arts Center. Her work has also been published in Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft, NICHE, Ornament, the Lark 500 series, and the Art of Enameling.
Public Collections include: Kohler Company, Kohler, WI; John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; Enamel Arts Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Ferro Corporation, Cleveland, OH; Kamm Foundations, Sparta, NC; Ceramic Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ; National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN.