Jessie Henson


polyester and rayon thread on paper
34 7/8 x 26 1/8 inches, framed

Jessie Henson employs notions of labor and time in her artmaking, looking for ways that repetitive actions of daily life accrue and build meaning, while pushing material elements to the threshold of fracture and disintegration. Mining the history of embroidery, Henson uses an industrial sewing machine to draw with thread on paper. As thread accrues, tension begins to overwhelm the paper, warping its surface into furrows and waves that result in undulating, topographical surfaces. Wild bursts of color penetrate the stillness of the paper. The movement of the threaded lines counters the quiet of the surface which bends with pull of the thread’s stitch and is ruptured by the fast-moving needle. Colors serve as the base of different emotional states of mind: pensive, passionate, furtive. The accumulation becomes an act of putting on armor, building up strength. Paradoxically, if the sewing builds up too much, the paper tears apart, laying bare the fragility of the underlying structure.

The resulting sculptural and rendered forms often resemble environments, maps, landscapes, and scientific diagrams of the natural world. Merging the vernaculars of drawing, sculpture, and tapestry, Henson blurs the boundaries between these worlds.

Henson has had solo exhibitions at Bushell Collective, Delhi, and A.I.R. Gallery, New York. Group exhibitions include Thread Hijack, Hunterdon Museum, Clinton; Lightning Loom, 208 Gallery, Sea Cliff; Surfaces, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles; Poetics of the Afterimage, Dieu Donne Papermill, New York; and Casa De Empena, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City.

[excerpted from Anthony Meier website:]