Jen LaMastra

For me, art is an expression and processing of emotions or past experiences my mind has difficulty naming. My hands start collecting objects and painstakingly putting them together long before I know what they are conjuring. They seem to have an agenda and purpose; It often takes a lot time and work for me to understand what that is. I use the ritual (borderline obsessive) labor, to dig my fingers around the source of trauma and pull it up to the surface. Lately, what’s been surfacing has been closely tied in with a conversation women seem to be having with themselves and each other a lot lately: what is our place? how should we feel? how do we slough generations of servitude, silence, and shame? It feels like a collective turning towards the light that begs the question how do we start the process of healing now that we are starting to see our wounds more clearly? For me the process often leads me to ‘women’s work’ and the enormous amount of time and skill that have often gone unrecognized. It moves between oppressive and expressive in a way that blurs the edges between the two. A sort of subversion. There is healing and understanding in the ritual of that painstaking labor, and that is the driving force behind my art.