Primary Medium

Textiles/Fiberart/Weaving

Address

276 Greenpoint Ave
Ste 8108
Brooklyn, 11222

Artist Statement

My practice is a satirical merging of fact, fiction, and pop culture. Individual, small-scale dioramas have recently expanded into immersive, walk-through installations. A combination of both fine art and craft materials and techniques, the highly narrative installations begin with tiny textile figures. Created through labor-intensive hand and machine sewing and constructed from unbleached muslin, the figures are stuffed with polyester fiberfill and internally wired for pose-ability. Detailed, miniature accessories are obsessively crafted and present clues to layered and complex story lines. I’m currently working on a large-scale installation project with the support of a NYSCA FY2024 grant that will feature one thousand 10” tall figures: hybrids of Myotis lucifugus (little brown bats) and Homo sapiens. Myotis is one of the most common bat species found in North America. In 2006 White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a deadly fungus, was first detected in New York State colonies. Highly contagious, WNS affects bats by rousing them from hibernation, leading to shocking numbers of bats starving to death (70 – 100% of the colony). When I first learned of WNS, pre-pandemic, I imagined an installation of hundreds of bats, waking up to find no food and wandering about trying to fill their days. What darkly comical activities might they be doing to pass the time, unaware of their imminent doom? The result of this musing is an installation featuring figures in three stages: pre-infection (still hibernating), post- infection (dead), and currently infected (waking into a desaturated, patchwork New York City of places that no longer exist). Grouped into tableaux these “woke” bat/humans act out satirical yet poignant narratives inspired by current politics, contemporary popular culture, pandemics, and the ongoing demise of ecology and human rights. Multiples of miniature accessories are peppered throughout the installation: cellphones, protest placards, assault weapons, and article-filled newspapers. The newspapers, found in almost every tableau, are a fusion of factual information and fictional advertisements. Read collectively, the headlines of these mini periodicals serve as a de facto artist statement that reveals the dismaying plight of a small community that is uncannily parallel to our own.

Links

Website: http://www.jodymacdonald.ca
Instagram: @talk.to.me.jody