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ARTIST STATEMENT

Through my artmaking I create visual symbols that promote my belief in the power of interconnectedness, support, and respect for each other and our surrounding environment. Conceptually, I am in a constant dance moving myself beyond narrow thought patterns of dualism and rationality to a place of holistic thought. I consider the process of creating to be a ritual, and the finished installation itself to be a ritual space--a place where quotidian reality can come to a halt and be experienced in its larger context.

My greatest artistic joy lies in creating pieces in places where people are not expecting "Art," thus facilitating a situation in which passers-by simply happen upon the space. Without the intervention, relief, or critical distance afforded by the gallery frame, the world becomes magical, preconceived notions are disregarded, we are 6 years old again and we think our just emerging rational consciousness might be flawed. At the very least we suspect that its not the whole story.

Maybe angels really do exist. Maybe if we listen hard enough we can hear dinosaurs still walking the earth along with automobiles, planes and trains. Maybe there really are two people who made a sacred pact in the chapel, threw off their clothes and are now running naked in the garden outside (and wouldn't you like to join them, really.) Maybe if we let old buildings decay and don't interfere, nature will spring back through the crumbling walls and spill its sounds and sights and miracles back onto us.

The encounter occurs in an instant and then its over. But we have been transformed. Little children and our own younger selves are liberated and delighted and intrigued and awake. These youngsters may go on searching for more of life's magical miracles and take up more space in our psyches, asking our rational minds to step aside, give them space, and make room for wonder.

The environments and situations I create are temporary and ephemeral, vanishing from the physical plane within weeks or sometimes moments. In the end, only the documentation (photographs, videos, maps, charts, drawings) and various elements are left. I consider the discrete sculptural elements of my installations to be props. Taken out of their larger context, they serve simply as reminders of the whole from which they were a part.

-Jill D'Agnenica

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