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Art Show: Tangible: Art as Object


by Paula J. Nelson

Banner for Tangible: Art as Object art show

Art: Jessica by Artist Paula J. Nelson
Jessica is a 3-D interpretation of a comic book/graphic novel character created by Neil Gaiman named “Death,” one of the Endless beings in his “Sandman” series.

Now, what is attractive [to me] about this character, is that she appears to people she meets [to include those who she comes to call to her realm] as a happy, friendly, perky, helpful, sympathetic, comforting personality. This is probably not the image you have of death, which seems to be more often than not portrayed as a 'Grim Reaper' type of entity [but, perhaps would like to have since death comes to us all in the end]. When Death is depicted in the world of the living - she has normal coloring, but out of the world, in her own realm, her skin was the colour of porcelain. Thus, here, she is tiled in porcelain white vitreous glass.

With the exception of the Styrofoam wig stand used for her head - she is entirely hand-built from random items, mainly plaster cloth, plastic, and of course, glass tile of different varieties.

She was built in four pieces: torso, blouse, stand and hair. Her hair was built like a wig after a brainstorm hit me on how to do it. She took approximately seven months of mornings, evenings and weekends to complete.

She was also packaged up in various stages of completion and evacuated during three hurricanes that threatened us.

Her hair has over 900 pieces of black and iridescent glass alone, detail 2 in natural light gives a good look at it.

Her name, Jessica, is a nod to the fact that Gaiman’s character Death is actually a more ‘human’ interpretation rather than the traditional, and is in honour of Jessica Rabbit, of "Who framed Roger Rabbit" fame, who said 'I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way...'

Torso: Vitreous tile, porcelain, stained glass - regular and iridescent, mirror, black Swarovski crystal beads, glass jewels, iridescent and black glass beads.

Base: Carved wood stand, vitreous tile, stained glass - regular and iridescent, glass jewels, millefiori and black glass beads.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Jessica

Jessic - 3/4 view detail

Detail Image for art Jessica

Detail - left rear hair - natural light

Detail Image for art Jessica

Detail - 3/4 view - natural light


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