"It's like generic global clip art from growing up reading National Geographic and watching TV."
by Ursula Gullow . photo by Anthony Bellemare
Installation artist Tara Jensen puts a contemporary spin on traditional crafting techniques, embellishing her paper cuts, fiber sculptures, paintings, drawings and papier-mâché sculptures with bright neon colors and patterns based on indigenous and traditional European ornamentation. “With installation, you’re orchestrating all these tiny relationships between things. You’re not just focusing on one thing and the viewer’s relationship to it,” says Jensen.
After finishing an artist residency in Vermont last spring, Jensen created a “witch hut,” a tepee-like structure, at a Burlington gallery. Inside, she fabricated hundreds of little relics using such materials as fluorescent-hued fabrics and puff paint. Last November, just after moving to Asheville, she traveled to Japan to install Lucky Fruits, a piece comprised of hundreds of soft sculptures sewn and stuffed by hand. Her visual lexicon? “It’s the junk in the back of your brain,” Jensen says. “It’s like generic global clip art from growing up reading National Geographic and watching TV.”