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Jessica Wetherly

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I am an artist working with sculpture to explore narrative. My practice is rooted in observation, making installations that draw on encounters with a landscape. I use animal allegory to weave together contemporary and historical narratives to encourage guardianship of the land. Through storytelling and personal reflection I examine the disruption of human intervention within ecosystems and create complex multi-layered artworks where plants, animals and fungi can be seen as persons, teachers, guardians and kin.

My approach is research based, the works become treasure maps of my investigation of a particular place referencing a mixture of archeological and souvenir cultures. Trinkets ornament and validate the lore around a work in the form of charms, badges, keychains and miniatures. I work with a mixture of manmade and organic materials to reveal the artificial nature of wilderness and the inescapable hand of humankind.

My work is both playful and deadly serious, interconnecting evidence, fiction and speculation with clues and symbols scattered across the space like game pieces. The work refers to pictorial languages and pagan practices - seeing sculpture as totem, mascot, daemon, spirit, familiar or friend; as amulets to our lived experience.

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