Dino-clad and smashing toy-size trains, Jescia paints self-portrait vignettes of paracosms- a fully-developed imaginary universe created by a child.
Hopper creates haunting images in brilliant watercolor that she describes as apocalyptic. “My paintings investigate themes of aging and death through the guise of extinction metaphors. My dino-clad figure patiently rides out the storm, more concerned with the rigors of playtime than the entropy around me. The costume is a way of escaping from those problems,” she says.
Hopper has found recent success in both National and Local exhibition arenas. This is her first solo show in Fargo, and the second of her painting career. The first show was at the Northwest Art Center in Minot in 2010.
“I am excited to finally show this series as a group so that viewers can see the narrative progress throughout the gallery,” she says.
Hopper uses her dinosaur costume to access children’s imagery to communicate with the viewer. “I made my first costume in 2009. I think everybody at some point in their lives feels a longing to be free of the worries of adulthood and a nostalgia for the carefree nature of childhood,” she says.
“The environments I surround myself with in the paintings speak metaphorically of the firey discourse, vitriol and negativity we are all surrounded with in contemporary society.”
Hopper works in a variety of media – oil, acrylic, gouache, ceramics, and found materials, but she prefers watercolor. “I am enamored with the way watercolor behaves. Despite the fact that much of my paintings are highly detailed, I appreciate the looseness and unpredictability of the medium.”
She also appreciates the media for its flexibility. “There are things that watercolor does that I can’t reproduce with other media, such as the floccuation and sedimentation of the pigments, and the way that I can drop paint on to the page and let it do the work for me, she says.
“I find it fascinating to work with pigments that are naturally derived, such as hematite and amethyst. They tend to give more interesting and earthy effects.”
Hopper looks forward to sharing the collection with the public. “Expect a heavy dose of whimsy with a dash of facetiousness, as well as some pretty epic explosions!” she says.
Paracosms is on display at The Spirit Room111 Broadway
Public reception: Thursday, April 21 from 7-9 p.m. There will be a short Artist Talk at 7:30 p.m.