My childhood obsession with insects provided me with endless entertainment as I roamed my parents’ field at our home in New Hampshire, determined to get to know each six-legged creature personally. I have spent, some would say, an inordinate amount of time watching ants, caterpillars, and beetles in their comings and goings. I’m fascinated by … Continue reading Insects
VINES and TENDRILS The imagery for the sculptures in this body of work comes out of a life-long passion for vegetable gardening and insects. I began gardening at the age of five when my parents indulged me by digging me a plot to plant my first pea crop. Right from the start I was fascinated … Continue reading Tendrils & Vegetables
Jessica Straus’s and Antoinette Winters’s collaborative installation, “The Beaching”, presents five oars with inset bottles suggesting jetsam found on the shore. Each bottle holds an image–or memory–of the history of Nut Island: a ship ablaze, a sailor’s rope, a ship’s compass, and a close-up of a frigate. A fifth image is text, a condensed, chronological … Continue reading Collaborative
Small carved female figures, stoically poised in various precarious positions on found objects, leave the viewer at once alarmed and chuckling in self recognition. As in all of Straus’s work, the line between levity and gravity is crossed and re-crossed, and held in delicate balance.
When I was a kid at Girl Scout camp, during one of those typical “what does your dad do?” conversations (of course, it was understood that our moms didn’t do anything!) my tent-mate, Henrietta, told the group her father was a spatula handle maker. No one batted an eyelash. My only thought at the time … Continue reading Widgets
Crafted with the pared down elements of hand carved balls and pegs, the work in this series proves that limitations provide rich fodder for invention. The labor intensive process of hand carving each element is meant to stand in direct contrast to our current material culture in which consumer goods are cranked out by the … Continue reading Balls & Pegs
Opalescent blue green bottles form the heart and soul of this new body of work. Dug from the banks of the Merrimac River and other metro Boston waterways by a scuba-diving urban archaeologist and then purged from a basement housing the collection, I have breathed new life into these twice resurrected vessels. Obsessively whittled wooden … Continue reading Bottles
Straus has integrated the Boston Yellow Pages and computer manuals, cut and splayed into hemispheres, with her carved and painted wood forms. This adds an unexpected soft and flexible element that contributes to a playfulness in the work.
UH OH! The signs are everywhere. They have been for a long, long time. Clear to read, message strong: we’ve got a water problem. This beautiful, watery bubble of a planet, our earth, like a space ship, universe-bound seeking what? Water elsewhere? In drops? Not even. In microliters, embedded in rock, in crystals, sub, sub, … Continue reading Non Potable
Ready and Waiting For years, the highest compliment my son could pay a friend of ours went something like this: “In a Zombie apocalypse I’m going to choose Kevin (or Jon, or Brian) to be one of the four people I hole up with.” The chosen one would provide invaluable skills and traits, such as … Continue reading Darling / Bagu
Jessica Straus’s exhibition, “TransAtlantic”, travels to Boston Sculptors Gallery after its initial showing in France. Originally commissioned to fill the space of “Le Temple Protestant” in the village of Athis de L’Orne, located in a region of Normandy that was heavily bombarded during World War II, Straus’s installation commemorates the long and strong alliance between France … Continue reading TransAtlantic
I have been drawn back time and again to Newfoundland. Each time I have visited I have been struck by Newfoundlanders’ sardonic take on the world, a very particular blend of pragmatism, irony, and humor. Newfoundlanders bear witness to the effect of the sea/land balance being thrown askew. They have had a long history of … Continue reading Float
Jessica Straus’s gallery-sized installation, “Stemming the Tide” offers a poetic retort to the notion that “man shall have dominion over the earth”. A large-scaled map, detailing the coastal corridor running from the North Pole through Greenland and on down to Cape Cod, flows from the ceiling and pours across the gallery floor. A large school … Continue reading Stemming the Tide