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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jenny Zoe Casey









Jenny Zoe Casey


Artist Biography

Jenny Zoe Casey lives in a rural area of Central Florida where she regularly encounters wildlife ranging from the resident black snake, "Monster," to armadillos, bats, owls and more.

She was born in the Pacific Northwest and grew up in the Hawaiian Islands, then a lush and unspoiled environment. Isolated by circumstance, she bonded with her natural surroundings. Nature, and more obliquely the nature of human experience, continues to inform her work.



Artist Statement

"Growing up among the lush landscapes of rural Hawaii, nature’s unique properties were readily apparent: vitality, transformation, tides and cycles all deeply informed my sense of the world. As a child, I spent hours in solitude exploring the surrounding area, riding my bike along pocked country roads past pig farms and taro fields. The experience was both lonely and exhilarating. As a westerner, I was viewed as an outsider and found my place in the larger world of nature. Leaving the islands at the age of sixteen, I felt exiled from a place where I had never really belonged but nevertheless loved deeply.

To create my prints and paintings, I almost always begin with a human gesture, a moment of presence that implies a trajectory of movement, thought, and emotion bound together in an encounter with the laws of physics. Neuroscientists theorize that the ability to produce adaptable and complex movements is primary to the evolutionary development of our intelligence; every activity that we value as making us special is mediated through the contraction of muscles. Movement is the way you affect the world — and my figures have plenty of agency.

Equally important is the environment the figures find themselves in, a space that amplifies the meaning I sense lies within the gesture I've chosen. Often, portions of these spaces remain either below the surface or out of sight, and like memory, the subconscious, or history itself, mere fragments remain visible. These are landscapes that are a blend of the inner and outer, mediated and informed by both the laws of physics and the dynamics of the imagination.

The figures in my work inhabit a nature that sometimes includes portions of our built environment. They float in undefined space where their props extend into the natural world to become abstract shapes: swirls or vines both embrace and ensnare them, cars might appear among tree branches, the shadow of a figure might be mistaken for a cave, droplets of sweat might be swirls of rain. While acknowledging our status as creators and users of tools, I seek reminders of a quieter space, separate from the proliferating artifacts of our complex, industrially and technologically augmented lives.

In my current place of residence, a rural area of central Florida, I encounter tropical downpours, high winds, humidity, heat, proliferating insects, snakes, alligators, and rampant vegetal growth. My personal encounters with the natural world continue to inform my work, which alludes to a waltz of influence that occurs between an environment and its inhabitants. My work attempts to bridge the seemingly disparate worlds of man and nature, making apparent the many ways that nature and the environment shape our imagination, and the ways the nature of our imagination in turn shapes our environment."

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Honors and Awards
Exhibition Merit Award, Building New Traditions, Turner Print Musuem, CSU Chico, Chico, CA
Award of Excellence, Northern National Art Competition, Nicolet College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, WI
President’s Purchase Award, Bradbury Gallery, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Selected Media
Against the Tide, Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint Press, 2011
Knock #13: The All Play Issue, Antioch University, Seattle WA, 2010
Education
BFA      1982      Interdisciplinary Fine Arts      California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA



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