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Jody MacDonald

I am consumed with the construction and performance of identity. I create multiples of generic figures, which I then transform into vibrant and distinct individuals.

Each textile sculpture or work on paper begins with a photographic image of my face. I don’t consider the work to be a collection of self-portraits but rather a series of roles in which I have cast myself. These roles transgress historical timelines and boundaries (gender, species, geography) to comment on current social and political issues.

Textile-based sculptures are created using a combination of labor-intensive hand and machine sewing. Each 20” textile figure requires 40-80 hours to complete. I am fascinated by the presentation and perception of “real” vs. manufactured in both concept and practice and I exploit the comparison between genuine and artificial materials in my work.

Detailed, miniature accessories (wigs, clothing, and furniture) are obsessively crafted by myself and are made from re-purposed materials infused with personal meaning. Recently, these characters have been set inside elaborately constructed, mixed media dioramas. Read collectively the details within each piece reveal complex clues to the characters’ often conflicted psyches.

Ink, watercolor, and collage works on paper are small-scale but equally as meticulous. 

At 1:8 to 1:4 human scale the intimate size and intricate detail of the figures coax viewers in for a closer look where sinister narratives lurk under a veil of dark humor. 

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