December 20, 2014 - February 7, 2015
Esplanade Art Gallery, Medicine Hat, AB

In Jessica Plattner’s newest oil paintings a host of exquisitely rendered animals, birds and children populate verdant landscapes that are littered with archeological and industrial ruins, with strange remnants of conduits, pipes, holding tanks and mechanical systems. The terrain is reminiscent of southeastern Alberta and Tuscany, Italy, both of which are subject to considerable debate and controversy surrounding resource extraction. (During Plattner’s 2012 artist residency in Italy two major earthquakes in nearby Emilia-Romagna may have been triggered by fracking.) Plattner’s work is sombre yet not pessimistic in its contemplation of the effects of human industry on our environment. The exhibition’s title comes from the work of Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley. Plattner shares his existential approach to the world in tying personal experience to her work and thereby creating meaning and authenticity in a possibly meaningless world. It’s a delicate and fine balance which Plattner achieves by infusing the paintings with a magical and fantastical aura that nonetheless embraces our everyday lives.

Jessica Plattner received her BFA from Washington University School of Art in St. Louis, USA, and her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, USA and Temple Rome, Italy. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and has presented her work in solo exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Previously Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University, USA, Jessica Plattner now lives in Medicine Hat, where she is a member of The Hive Artists Hub and teaches in the Visual Communications Program at Medicine Hat College.

-Joanne Marion, Curator, Esplanade Art Gallery