: : Quiet/Loud : :

Maintaining a sense of self while navigating many roles of modern womanhood is exhausting, often befuddling, and sometimes demoralizing. Searching for balance between art and motherhood makes me feel like I’m flying and drowning, being both propelled and overwhelmed trying to making ends meet and get the job done.

I’ve long explored this search for identity through photographic mixed-media, and my feelings of fragmentation have been present for many years before becoming a mother, though since, the welfare of others has transcended my singular focus. The photographic process of capturing my own image in action fosters a connection between conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind and emotions. I travel a path through the work that explores connections between home, mind, and body. Incorporating found materials, such as wood scraps and toy parts, helps me feel grounded in what’s real and exists outside of my head. Layering encaustic medium and in it encasing script, hatch, figure, and mark, is a way of quieting the frenzy and simultaneously making it seem loud forever.

Quiet/Loud is my most recent chapter representing the dichotomy between asserting an identity as an individual human being and being lost in the onslaught of responsibility to others. The works traverse feelings explored while struggling to find place, and meaning, and purpose, and time. Autobiography as inspiration has long been in the forefront of my creative process and in this series I visually portray myself blinded and silenced almost as a respite from frantic days. Intertwined with these images are storytale thoughts, some scrawled on walls, imbued with meditative and monotonous motion, punctuated with disembodied toys presented as talisman.

As I drift I’m reminded of how I planned my life to be, shaped by fairy tale dust. As I sleep the darkness becomes me. As I wake I carry dreams, with my children, in my arms and heart.

Jessica Burko, August 2017