That’s What She Said: Work by Jessica Campbell & Etta Sandry
Jessica Campbell and Etta Sandry explore similar themes, motifs and material in their work but each approach these with different emphasis, proportion and result. The title of the show, a crass and thoughtless sex joke, is a reference equally to the artists’ individual voices, and the unexamined language that exists in the margins of life.
A brick pattern permeates this new body of black-and-white drawings and textiles by Jessica Campbell. Obscuring the melodramatic sentiments of a 90s Canadian alternative music star, enveloping a shadowy figure or extending across the floor, the bricks coalesce to build a bridge between stand up comedy and teen girldom, a time the artist spent prostrate on the floor listening to records and lusting after boys. This work is a rumination on both comedy and adolescence as performances of vulnerability, each ever straddling a line between truth and untruth.
Etta Sandry’s work examines the fast language of every-day communication to question the meanings and contexts of the words we use on a daily basis. She draws from personal experiences and her own use of language in an attempt to connect with the ways in which we communicate as a broader whole. Her weavings take common-place words like “yes” and “okay” and slow them down to explore the patterns, rhythm, and cadence in language and weaving. Text is translated through her handwriting and woven structure to create a new visual language of pattern, logic, and feeling.
Jessica Campbell is an enthusiast of jokes, painting and comics from Canada, where she was raised on an island that, according to the pentecostal church of her youth, also happens to be the witchcraft capital of North America. She completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was the recipient of the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship. She has exhibited work in Canada, the US, Australia and Greece, and was recently selected as one of NewCity’s 2015 breakout artists.
Etta Sandry is a Brooklyn-based artist, educator, and organizer from the midwest. She is a weaving nerd and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 with a focus in Fiber and Material Studies. She now works as the Studio Manager at the Textile Arts Center in New York and is a co-director of the contemporary art initiative + website, Make Space. Etta’s work has been included in duo exhibitions at ACRE Projects in Chicago and Open Gallery in Nashville.