Jessica Beckwith, Light Painting Series 1 BW2, 2018. Archival print, 13 x 17 inches.
This series is a study of light. The photographs are of the reflections and spaces between two surfaces creating forms that appear to be physical objects within the photographs, but actually only exist as light.
Jessica Beckwith writes of her practice: "
I create 360 degree immersive installations that engage principles of physics, light, the collective unconscious, entanglement, memory, and myth. I am influenced by James Turrell and Robert Irwin’s studies into perceptual psychology and their transcendent empathic light works in concert with Anselm Kiefer’s historical and archetypal imagery. Drawing from the void from which all form emerges and returns, I am continually questioning what is real and what is constructed.
I activate the senses through an elemental language of light, hypnotic movement, refraction, water, sound, and broken, layered, and obscured shards of imagery in order to explore how realizations in science, such as quantum entanglement, which explains how one particle will experience, simultaneously, what happens to the other, play out within the interconnectivity of consciousness, memory, time, and space.
I’m continually using this elemental language to examine points of interconnection between the universal and the individual, asking where, beyond the limitations of ideology, we are inherently interconnected. I use timed motors to create rhythmic movement, repetition in sound, the viewer's inner thoughts via recordings, biorhythms through elements like dripping water, and shards of photographs. By lighting a vessel of water, into which a drop falls at the average rate of a human heart beat, I activate a space through biorhythms, generating rings of interwoven light. Motors rotate prismatic sculptures counterclockwise, symbolizing the earth’s rotation at an accelerated rate, emulating the speed of our daily lives and at once creating a suspension in time.
In my initial explorations I found myself dislodging concrete images from my subconscious, taking photos from my life and projecting them through revolving prismatic sculptures. The images would break into forms of light, fold and reform, shifting my relationship to them. They were pulled out of their concrete place in time and space; reality was no longer a solid unmovable state, but something created, flexible, and interconnected."
In her early career Jessica studied at the National Shakespeare Conservatory in NYC, directing and performing in several regional theaters. Driven by a desire to encompass the viewer she searched for new ways of using media through events and then through studying Sculpture at State University of New York at New Paltz. She was awarded the Peter S. Reed Foundation grant for her first piece, I’d Like to Ask You a Question (a collaboration with Nora Breen), an interactive installation which examined feelings of isolation and explored ways of creating connection.
Mentioned in the New York Times for her “mystical theater” in Wholeness, an installation for Portal:GIAF, Jessica’s projections and multi-media installations have been included in exhibitions in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Istanbul— notably the Brattleboro Museum, Performa 13, Portal:Governors Island Art Fair, Galleria Ca D'Oro NYC, Hodjapasha Cultural Center Istanbul, and the Woodstock Artist Association Museum.
Recently, she was commissioned by the Hodjapasha Cultural Institute in Istanbul to create an installation exploring quantum entanglement and the Dervish’s practice of Whirling for their permanent collection. She is currently working with Arte Futura, an art collective/think tank of global artists, curators, and teachers in search for new and alternative ways of generating healing and connection through the arts.