Ruby Rae Jones
In sculptures and installations, I use cast human body parts in combination with the forms of other-than-humans. Each mélange repositions the human as one component of an ecosystem, giving and receiving in acts of radical collaboration with companion species. I utilize subdued color palettes and a range of materials, wherein the natural properties of each physical component have presence and identity, allowing for them to participate in the meaning of the work. In conversation with one another, the materials begin to embody the complexity and cooperative nature of an ecosystem. The large scale and physicality of my sculptures are reflections of my own body and the way it moves through space.
My creative research utilizes mixed media collage to explore themes of addiction, identity, relationships, and memory. From a distance my work displays bright colored abstract patterns arranged in a familiar quilt-like fashion. The three quilted works appear comforting, inviting, and pleasing to the eye. Upon closer look, the ‘quilts’ consist of non traditional media – discarded cigarette packs and swatches of silk-screened fabric that have been sewn together with red embroidery thread. The imagery and materials reveal a more dirty and melancholy reality. The brightly seductive colored cigarette packages have been juxtaposed with lackluster or dull- colored screen-printed images of my loved ones. The photographs document their repetitive acts such as smoking or going to the doctor. By using the medium of quilting I attempt to create a bridge between the relationships made while smoking or quilting.
As an artist, I aim to use the anime and manga methods of representation as a guise, a lure to bring the audience into viewing narratives that they would not expect. Japanese comics and animations are capable of weaving disturbing imagery with endearing visuals that enable the viewers to enjoy the worst. I am inspired by artists such as Junji Ito and Arata Yokoyama to make art that is horrific but is also appealing to the point that viewers cannot help but enjoy them. Through the use of digital processes, I want to make high-contrast, aesthetic, candy-like illustrations and animations that are irresistible to the audience. I aim to juxtapose the innocent, the pretty, and mass appeal with the dark, evil, and taboo. Engaging with the work, viewers are invited to dig deeper, below the surface of cuteness and have the opportunity to reflect upon their own psyche.