Jennifer Barton. Castillega
2021. Acrylic on Panel. 20X25cm
If you are lucky, one of your ancestors wrote something about their life. When reading the four pages my great-grandmother Elise Pratt wrote about growing up on the American frontier in Utah from 1875 to 1895, I was surprised to see that many of her words were detailed descriptions of nature. This was significant to me because my artistic practice explores the human nature connection, particularly through an examination of the flora and fauna of the American West and Utah. Her nature loving soul came through loud and clear in her writings. In my work for the Inherit exhibition, I decided to use her words as a first layer and then added images of plants, flowers and rocks I observe while walking and hiking in the mountains and deserts of Utah. I see these paintings as an attempt to internalize her thoughts, imagine what I might inherit from her, and as a record of my attempt to understand, engage and hold onto nature.