Jessica Dickinson

b.1975, St Paul, MN, USA


Jessica Dickinson
Jessica Dickinson, Full-See, 2010 (detail). Photo: Tim Bowditch



In one way, Dickinson's works seem to occupy a dimension of their own. They are not really paintings, having too much of the sculptural about them, but they are not really sculptures, and they hang on the wall and are painted with oils. Take Full-See (2010), a squarish work scaled to the artist's body, made by applying layer after layer of limestone polymer and oil paint onto a panel. Although the surface is more or less flat at first glance, a few moments of looking reveal a texture of delicate layers, created from an ongoing process of sanding and colouring the painting's temporary surfaces. This effect is the result of a repetitive, even ritual, process that can take up to a year to be fully realised.

During their extensive making, Dickinson takes rubbings in wax crayon, charcoal and pastel as a way of documenting the various stages of production. These enable her to gain a sensory perception of her work, as her hands, arms and body exert pressure and weight against the paper and painted surface. Dickinson's calls the rubbings 'traces' or &lsqlsquo;remainders', signalling resonances in the final work, which are no longer visible to the eye. This archaeology produces a range of prints which enable time to be unfolded on the gallery wall, and allows viewers to access unseen aspects of works' gradual creation. We are able to imagine the ways each work registers within its very fabric the range of Dickinson's physical, emotional and spiritual states through her interaction with it over time and across a range of moods.