Since entering Motherhood I have felt my connection to the extrinsic broadened and stretched in painful, wonderful ways. The sense of urgency I feel to align the world as it is, with the world as I believe it could be has become an imperative and as the reality remains at odds with the possible I am forced to ask questions of sympathetic consciousness. Can you love something or someone you have no control over? Can you forgive it’s flaws or the perfections achieved without you? Can you care deeply about something that is outside your realm of understanding? 


Papercutting is a subtractive method that, for me, has a lot to do with exerting control over my environment. Having things just so, exacting and tidy; a proprietary world. I seek tools to make that control complete; using my own photographs as templates. Resin offers similar results. As it solidifies it gives me the sense of holding a moment precisely as it is, freezing it in time. 


My work however, is not focused on control but on its erosion, largely centered on Impermanence. To mimic the world as it is, I inject elements to disrupt the stillness I’ve worked to create, infusing it with the unknown. Organic material shrivels inside casings, carefully crafted boundaries tear and the child whose hair I’ve enshrined grows up.


In this action there is constant change and along the sharp edges of change there is Grief; an aspect of Compassion that must be acknowledged. Resolving these components can't be hurried or ignored, which is why both the beginning and end of my iterative practice focus on cutting paper. Slowly connecting cuts to extract what is not needed is a ritual that can't be rushed. The space created in this undertaking allows me to start the process again, hoping to incrementally improve my understanding of the shifting world.

© 2020 by Jessica Alpern Brown