A Solo Exhibition
At first glance, Jemison's Span of Time series appear to be two-deminsional, mixed media, abstract paintings, but on closer observation, their identity is revealed, and a journey begins.
Each painting is comprised of original heartfelt letters, dating from the 1800's to the present, painstakingly cut, layered and repeated throughout her surfaces.
Along with the letters are ledgers of bookkeeping, biddings, labels and 'to do" lists, illustrating a reliquary of time and resembling the oval shapes we often use to highlight our "to do" lists, or something of great importance. Jemison's methodical layering of original letters, ledgers and obscure labels, are an exploration of an emotional, anthropological excavation.
Reading each personal letter, then and now, Jemison approaches her mark-making within that emotional landscape by rescuing, remaking, and reweaving each letter of love, concern, and question. Like an antiquarian, she documents these tender moments that are personal to someone's heart and transforms them into a painting embedded with all that personal history. Jemison feels a special need to rescue these letters of importance that span over two centuries, interconnecting them to the present, in her original, visual language.
Each of these works reflect many of the same concerns of the heart for loved ones,
repeated throughout history for 220 years.
In Jemison's words:
"Through clients and friends, I recently received a collection of personal letters, bank notes and bills from the 1800s, stock records from the 1920s, current 3d printer remnants and discarded paintings, photos and fruit labels.... spanning 200 years of collected detritus, and data, a small section of America's long history. Looking closer I was reminded that the early correspondence was during a time when slavery was in full force and women were relegated to the home.
Each grouping had a corresponding period in our history and in mine.
I was intrigued with the notion of presenting it all together in each artwork, the layering,
the flow of time, the reoccurrence of historical moments.
I love working with the specificity of the time they represent, from the delicate calligraphy
of the old letters, to the annoying stickiness of our current fruit labels."