Jessica Evans, Pig Pen and Chalet Style, 2020, pencil crayon on paper, each 42 x 38 cm . Courtesy the artist.

Jessica Evans: Pig Pen and Chalet Style

Presented as part of The Pandemic is a Portal

The drawings Pig Pen (2020) and Chalet Style (2020) are concerned with how time and invention come together in domesticated settings. Reflecting on how the conditions of the pandemic have rapidly rearranged the experience of time, these works chart how fantasy can be used as a mechanism to give form to unexamined fears and desires. The drawing process involved in making these works became its own kind of fantastical timekeeping, requiring the artist’s imagination to cooperate with the physical limits of a beginning and end, rather than circling indefinitely.

Chalet Style looks at the cuckoo clock as a highly systematized object that is layered with elaborate pastoral artifice, creating a house that contains an endless cycle of minutes and hours.

In Pig Pen, containment is made more explicit in the image of the animals’ cycles of regeneration confined within larger, intensified human systems.

To view the images in greater detail, they can be downloaded here:

Jessica Evans is an artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba who works primarily with video and sculpture. Her practice is focused on questions of perception and psychoanalytic theory. Evans was a cofounder of the Negative Space artist collective and gallery in Winnipeg. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia and her work has been exhibited in Canada and the United States. Her writing has been featured in publications such as C MagazineThe Capilano Reviewand SCAN by CoLab. She is based in Vancouver.

[Image descriptions: Chalet Style (full image): A white page. At the centre, a detailed coloured pencil drawing of a kitschy German-Swiss style cuckoo clock where the clock is housed in the centre of a tiny chalet. From the lower right corner of the page, a painter’s hand extends a fine-tipped brush in a gesture to paint the wooden eaves of the gabled roof. The chalet has an intricate woven wood pattern along its face, flower garlands draped along windows and the fence, and a black-capped chimney. The small blue cuckoo peers out of an open arched window near the apex, and below it two windows linked by a balcony each show a long-haired figure in a blue dress. One reads a book, and the other kneels in prayer, hands clasped. The clock face shows large white Roman numerals against a black dial with a white central emblem and gothic hands. The chalet sits atop a heavy wood base on which a colliding pair of mountain goats, purple-garland-wrapped cypress trees, and a wagon wheel complete the scene.

[Detail: A detail of the bottom left corner of the cuckoo clock.

[Pigpen (full image): A coloured pencil drawing takes an aerial view of a pig sty: a cinder block enclosure with a simple wire fence atop the blocks. The pigpen rests at the front of a field showing four wide, alternating leaf-green and golden-green rows that recede into the horizon. There, they meet a sliver of deep blue sky with thick white clouds. Toward the front of the pigpen, a tight cluster of pink pigs stand, facing in all directions, their round bodies a contrast to the neatness of the sharp, straight lines of the rows in the field and the cinder blocks. Features like ears, tails and snouts are rendered in detail, with lush red outlines that fade to soft pink at the pigs’ centres. At the back wall, a sow lies on her side in the brown mud nursing six pale piglets from engorged teets. Her ear flops gently onto her cheek, and her legs extend straight in line with the piglets.

[Detail 1: A detail of the cinderblock fence and sow.

[Detail 2: A detail of the piglets, including some floppy ears and a prominent butthole.]

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