Jenn Shifflet VG

Jenn Shifflet: A Meditative Approach

Jenn Shifflet’s art consistently mines the immaterial, but this ethereal quality is achieved through hard effort–for example, her glass relief pieces consist of myriad tiny glass beads, made from shards (called “frit” in the glass community) by the artist herself, the result of as many as ten firings for one work. The small glass spheres are laboriously placed with tweezers, one by one, on the surface on which they rest. Shifflet’s primary concern is communicating the transcendence of light, which exists as an underpinning for most of her work–the glass works especially. The artist’s recent paintings are usually circular, sometimes offering concentric circles, sometimes establishing what might be a landscape at the bottom of the circular composition. The condition of most of the paintings is atmospheric, leaning in the direction of a mist or fog, whose formal implications are deliberately hidden. Shifflet’s paintings and glass relief works both embody a usually abstract visionary intelligence but it must be remembered that the insight is framed by an unspoken attention to natural phenomena, supported by the ongoing experience of light.