Collect detail

Collect ©2013 Jennifer Falck Linssen

Series Statements

Communication is an act of revelation. The Reveal Series combines textile motifs (cultural language) and calligraphic movement (written language) to express humanity's potential. Whether knots unbinding or sheaves of paper unfolding, the works illustrate the illuminative power of discovery. Knots serve to bind, fasten, and connect. When loosed, they reveal. The knots, folds, and turns of the Reveal Series are frozen in the act of revelation. They are a snapshot of movement and change - symbolic of the progression humans experience in self-actualization - learning who we are, and becoming who we want to be.

Many Reveal Series knot installations are carved with ikat patterns to further emphasize the subject matter of knots and folds and the cultural language of textiles. Ikat is a textile technique where threads are bound, dyed, and unbound to create pattern. Creating traditional ikat requires precision. The final woven textile patterns, however, look soft and blurry. There is an inherent contrast between how it looks and how it is made. The carved ikat lines resemble shimmering, moving light. The cut openings cast points of light on the inside of the object and on the outside space - glowing on the pedestal or wall behind it. These starry bits of light are emblematic of transformation - a concept I continue to be inspired by.

I took it for granted. After all, wasn't it everywhere? At least it had been growing up in Northern Wisconsin. But in Colorado, it was a different story. The first time I really took notice was the new-to-me news that installing a rain barrel to gather rain and water my freshly planted garden was an illegal act - fineable by law. Water was handled differently there. As it turned out, the water falling on one's roof was not one's own to keep. It was a resource. Scarce and quantifiable. Bought and sold. "My" water wasn't really my water. My water and everyone else's in Colorado is collected in multiple ways by municipalities and dispensed accordingly - whether pumped up from aquifers, divvied up from rivers and streams, collected in reservoirs, or selectively managed through extensive ditch systems. This world of water restrictions was an eye opener, and so began my inquiry into water sourcing, water rights, preservation, conservation, and restoration.

My interest in water followed me home to Wisconsin thirteen years later. And as my husband and I attempt to restore the woodland behind our house and studio, I find myself continually interested in land health and its twin sister, water health. They go hand in hand. I'm back in the land of plentiful water - from lakes, rivers, streams, and a substantial yearly precipitation. But what I find is that the land and water I took for granted as a child and young adult has changed. It has been altered by invasive non-native plants, quickly draining aquifers, and tainted with nitrates and bacteria.

Water in Wisconsin used to seem so simple, so abundant, so pure. With my eyes open now, I find it a complex issue, but nonetheless a stunningly beautiful inspiration. In my work as an artist and sculptor I attempt to capture moments in time of fleeting, transitory beauty. I distill the multifaceted beauty of water into fundamental line and form. This interest in the beauty of nature - its quiet stillness and gentle grace - continually renews my spirit, no matter how complex the issues surrounding it. And interpreting it in the medium of katagami-style hand carved paper and metal sculpture is my way of capturing that beauty and purity forever.

I find individual receptiveness and perception fascinating. Consider the childhood game of playing "telephone" where one child whispers in the next child's ear what they think they heard and by the end of a long line of children the original sentence is never the same. Every human appears to see and hear the world uniquely, both on a deeply basic exclusive level and collectively in groups. Language, both word and visual, can be a tool for understanding and connection. But it may also effect the opposite. Through the Echoes and Artifacts Series I work with the visual tools of carved paper, movement, shadow, and light to investigate how we perceive, conclude, and choose to associate or separate based on fragile perceptions.

The Fire & Emotion Series conceptually seeks to express the intimate, tender, emotional interactions of humans through abstract, gestural forms. Each sculpture embodies the emotive qualities, those frozen moments special to one's heart, of family and love, particularly the essential elements of contentment, affection, and devotion. Through the compositional form - symbolic of empathy, Fire & Emotion works communicate harmony and unity - vital components in humanity's resilience in the face of change.

The Wave/Water Series focuses on the striking dialogue between moments so finite as to disappear in seconds and yet so vast and grand as to mirror the infinite.

All the information necessary to grow a plant can be found in a tiny seed. That seed grows, changes, expands, and expires only to begin again - cyclical, beautiful, and enduring. The Earth Series investigates these minute patterns of nature and studies their relationship to larger systems of order in the universe.

Wind on the high arid plains of Colorado sculpts the landscape with impressive force and is a constant wonder and inspiration for my work. The Wind Series is a study in contrasts - at times powerful and aggressive, at others graceful and fluid. The wind is a continual marker of the world in flux.