Jacqui Crocetta—Artist Statement
My work is an investigation of the human condition through abstraction. I am particularly interested in resilience, hope and healing. Currently, I am creating work in response to the stories of women in my community who have faced adversity and retained, or returned to, a sense of hope. Another focus of my work is interconnectedness, which I feel most deeply through time in natural environments, my yoga practice and while engaged in making art.
Inspiration, Process and Stories Behind the Work
My 3D mixed-media works are typically comprised of commonplace materials that I have manipulated (woven, painted, sewn, pierced, wired, etc.) and arranged into organic forms. The forms that resonate with me include: pods with their vessel-like qualities; protective coats found in nature such as membranes and husks; and the delicate skeletons of plants.
“Protect. Nurture. Release.” is a series of works that center on the complex mother-child dynamic. I am interested in how the struggle between opposing forces and an ever-changing shift in roles, is what shapes the mother-child relationship. I am fascinated by the ‘letting go’ that is necessary to realize human potential, and the feelings of both loss and joy that are an integral part of transitions. The centerpiece for this series is a dress I created from grapevine twigs and wire during my daughter's senior year in high school. I awoke in the middle of the night with the understanding that the word 'nest' in 'leaving the nest' meant 'heart.' What started as a bodice-shaped empty nest turned into a complete dress—the lower portion of the dress resembling a teepee-shaped dwelling. The complete installation includes a bed of twigs collected from each of the schools my daughter attended (click here for installation view).
"Sentinel" was created in response to the vulnerability we feel while witnessing the suffering of other human beings. It's about those times when we cannot say or do anything to help the situation and though we may be feeling awkward or inadequate, we make the choice to be present and hold the space of compassion.
"Undercurrent," a site-specific installation, was developed in response to the near drowning experience I had as a young child. Through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) I recalled this traumatic event so vividly that I was gasping for air, I became aware of how profoundly it influenced my response to stress throughout my life, and I learned to reprocess the memory and triggers so that they no longer elicit a visceral stress response. As a result, I now have a far greater sense of calm in all stressful situations. The large funnel form in this work represents the fine line between life and death. Is it a means to access oxygen or a way for water to enter the lungs?
Painting is a meditative process for me. I approach painting without a preconceived plan so that the painting will unfold in unexpected ways. As soon as I begin mixing my paints I am completely immersed in the process. My painting meditation rewards me with the joy of discovery; enhanced intuition as I better connect with my subconscious mind; a greater sense of feeling grounded; and it makes me more receptive to change. My painting practice in conjunction with my yoga practice is the foundation of my creative work.
The dance between chaos and control is one of the things that intrigues me most about the process of painting (and living). I balance the ‘letting go’ aspect of my work—the fearless application of paint to canvas—with intentional brush strokes and careful editing to create compositions. Implied lines and transparent forms are some of the nuances indicative of my work. My compositions—whether they are bold, architectural arrangements or delicate veils suspended in space—are influenced by my background in graphic design.