Jennifer A. Wheeler
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Artist Statement

The Wonderland and Circus bodies of work are about the perils of being a young girl, and the long-lasting effects of the implied dangers in the images. The lack of horizon and patched together ground plane are visual metaphors  for an unsteady, topsy-turvy world.


I create my own paper sculptures to place in my still life set-ups, so that I am producing images of something very individual and highly personal. The sculptures are whimsical, slotted together in a simplistic way, and are in the language of illustration, which harkens back to a childhood sphere. My use of gold leaf is a way of presenting an allegory of childhood - one that is glittering and bright, but the darkness of the content belies the optimism of the surface.


Creating images of themes that seem as if they should be happy ones - Wonderlands, circuses, nursery rooms - but have a content that is somehow treacherous interests me, and continues to impel my work in this direction.


Chaos rules in this lurid playground of scattered playthings, where grinning cats, menacing shadows, neckties, and whip-weilding ringmasters are unwanted predators, and we are propelled down the rabbit hole into a world which is no Wonderland, but a realm of dangerous games.