Jen Waters

Bea’s Reconnaissance
2002

Mrs. Jarvis is a peripheral character in Virginia Woolf’s 1922 novel Jacob’s Room. Prone to reverie and inner thoughts voiced out loud, she goes walking out on the moors. To me, she is in a state of ‘ever wanting’, searching for something she doesn’t yet know but can sense, or where potential is always present.

I’ve been making imagined landscapes following Mrs. Jarvis’ mind’s eye, incorporating a sense of the natural environments she inhabits with map imagery of Cornwall, England (the locale of some of Mrs. J’s wanderings) as well as texts of her thoughts and observations. The process is improvisational in nature, beginning with a mapped ground and color scheme. From that point on each move or image leads to the next, usually with no overall ‘picture’ initially in mind.

As these pieces develop, rather than being idyllic or nostalgic in nature, they seem to portray rather abandoned spaces: amidst the dense detail and palimpsests of imagery, they emit barrenness, where light has left and specters hover at the peripheries.

“Sometimes people do find things”…

Jennifer Waters, painting, still life, Parsons, The New School, MFA, text, art, artist

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