Using pre-ban ivory, bone, found objects around rural Hudson Valley in upstate New York and gold leaf, Jennifer Trask creates the most hauntingly beautiful sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry inspired by the patterns of growth in nature. Jennifer’s work is so dynamic they seem to burst forth and bloom in front of your very eyes.
Jennifer Trask attended Massachusetts College of Art completing her BFA in Metalsmithing in 1993 and later graduated the State University of NY at New Paltz with an MFA in 1997. She remains in the Hudson valley area where she is a full time studio artist, producing large sculptural works and one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Examples of Trask’s work can be found in many public collections including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR; and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. In 2008 Trask was awarded the Peter S. Reed Foundation Individual Artist Grant.
Trask’s work has been cited in many books and periodicals including W, The New Yorker, Contemporary Crafts, the Lark Books series, Metalsmith Magazine, American Craft and The Sunday Boston Globe Arts section, among others.
What do we carry with us in our bones? Literally, and metaphorically?
Neither clearly baneful nor benign, this work is intended to mirror our complex relationship to our own nature(s), and the peculiar concept of separateness, of dominion, over Nature.
As the ultimate expression of both physical sensation and emotional sentiment,(eg.: “I feel it in my bones”) bone is the absolute reductive essence of both life, and death. Initially made of living cells, evolving, incorporating evidence of how we lived, the material itself embodies a latent narrative.
The wearable pieces combine found materials, delicately carved florals with rough fragments of skull, teeth or antler forming an uneasy ornamental idiom. This aggregate of visceral and intellectual, raw and refined, drapes the shoulders, in nearly direct contact with the collarbones of the wearer. The re-appropriated floral motifs seem an incongruous remembrance, a grasping at permanence in a material that reinforces the reality of impermanence.