Regolith Jess Willa Wheaton
September 5 to October 4, 2014
Opening Friday, September 5
exhibition runs Sept 5-Oct 4 at deluge contemporary art 636 Yates street, Victoria BC
As first defined by American geologist George P. Merrill
in 1897: “This entire mantle of unconsolidated material,
whatever its nature or origin, it is proposed to call the
regolith.” (Merrill, G.P., Rocks, rock-weathering and soils.
New York: MacMillan Company, 1897, 411p)
Named for the Greek words rhegos (blanket) and lithos
(rock), Earth’s regolith can be nearly absent or hundreds
of meters in thickness. It may be initially produced by
processes nearby, or far away, or both, and its age can
range from instantaneous to hundreds of millions of
years old. The presence of this unconsolidated topcoat
is an important factor for most life.
With Regolith, Wheaton continues to plumb the possibilities
of pictorial surface tension, while considering the
mobility of the veneer of the Earth. In her latest collages,
found images are re-inscribed with meaning by the context
of their composition. Implicit to these works’ surfaces
are strenuous compressions, tight fits orchestrated over
eons, quick breaks, slowly drifting layers and sudden
suspensions. Also employing these processes are
paintings, many of them the largest she has exhibited to
date. While continuing to enfold found images, here the
process of painting generates the forces and content of
earthly activity. History, tumult, growth and light spread,
contract and transform each surface into a new spatial
state, depending on location.
Jess Willa Wheaton grew up in California and lives and works in New York City.
She received a Certificate in Visual Arts from Camosun College, a BFA from the
California College of the Arts and an MFA from Hunter College in 2013. In the past
year her work has been exhibited at Zusi Graham, Cologne, Germany and in several
group exhibitions in New York. Wheaton gratefully acknowledges the support
of Camosun College, where she is the current Artist in Residence for 2014.
Hot Tears, Jess Willa Wheaton, 2014,
found images, glue, 19 x 25 cm