Jessica Hunt was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where she presently resides. She is currently a second year MFA candidate in sculpture at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has shown in several regional Midwestern galleries including the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts and the Mildred M. Cox Gallery. Most recently she received the Dennis deToye award for her public sculpture, "She is Here" from the juror and international artist Afruz Amighi.
My objective as a sculptor is to provide a stimulus for critical thought and conversation about the ways in which we develop and age in our private lives, relationships and our understanding of self. By harnessing personal experiences, often associated with domestic spaces and rites of passage—such as birth, marriage, divorce, and death—I create subjective narratives in my work in search of universal meaning. This work is not only an attempt to unpack the complexity of emotional tension and joy that exists within our relationships to self and others, but also to reflect upon the ways we relate to one another as people.
This body of work has a tendency to manifest these concepts in two ways—one literal and one metaphorical. In the literal exploration, an individual private life is made public. Objects are directly pulled from someone’s life and are reincarnated to kill off their prosaic existence. This may mean I highlight a part of a mother’s private journal by transferring it to a new skin, adhering it to stone and elevating it, provoking the viewer to reconsider its meaning. By isolating an aspect or nuance of a seemingly mundane domestic life through the use of these objects, I hope to create something more significant. While the work is rooted in individual subjectivity—like the words of an exhausted and insecure mother—there is room for the recognition of shared experience.
The second manifestation is through my use of metaphor. These sculptural objects range from representational figures to abstract bulbous forms to soft internal sculptures that feel familiar, yet are at the same time unrecognizable. I create forms that simultaneously feel sexual and asexual, humorous and sobering, comforting and grotesque. The objects are often skinned with a floral paper, which, in addition to placing them in a domestic setting, acts as a metaphor for what we can put on, hide in, shed off and that which we cannot avoid. In both scenarios, my aim is to provoke viewers to reflect on their own private life, relationships, and the presence of self.