The possibility of denying death is, in many ways, a modern luxury unique to our time and culture; up until the early 20th Century, death was an unavoidable part of everyday life; this was reflected in folk art, the fine arts, popular amusements, and social rituals. It is my conviction that the impetus to view, contemplate and, ultimately, make sense of death is a universal desire. That the mystery and terror of our own mortality is the central conundrum of the human life, and that as our culture has become increasingly secularized, our ways to attempt to grapple with it have largely shifted from the realms of religion and philosophy to science and medicine. These realms provide a way to experience death, cloaked in the acceptable veneer of rationality, but still quietly speaking of other things.
Jessica McCarrel is a Canadian artist and cultural worker who is interested in ways in which the pre-rational roots of modernity are sublimated into ostensibly “purely rational” cultural activities such as science and medicine. McCarrel obtained her BFA from the Alberta College of Art. Her artwork has been exhibited in Canada (Alberta) and in the United States (New York, Los Angeles).
Life as a generality moulds me, panging my intuition and causing me to react to situations in creative ways. My artwork is in no way shape or form separate them this. It is cliché to say that everything around me has a hand in shaping what I create, however as I am wholeheartedly empathic to the point of frustration. Life absolutely moulds me completely and truly to the point of redundancy.
I do not find glass easy. I find myself craving glass akin to how I yearn for more knowledge, as it is a material that I will not master in my life time. I am a no trick pony, but I flourish in the fact that I cannot make a truly realistic representation out of glass. I must use my intuition to fill in the detail and keep going.
Melanie T. Long hails from Calgary, Alberta, where she works as a school teacher, artist assistant and practising artist. She holds a Bachelor of Art from the Alberta College of Art and Design, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. Ms Long has studied glass worldwide including Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and the Australian National University in Canberra Australia. Ms Long has taught painting and glass processes at numerous institutions including with the Calgary Board of Education in Calgary, Montserrat in the West Indies, and New Small Sterling in Vancouver. Currently Long works as an Artist Assistant for three internationally known glass artists: Brain Kelk, Julia Riemer, and Tyler Rock who is the head of the glass program at ACAD. In her personal art making practice she has exhibited throughout North America, from Norfolk, VA, to Vancouver, BC.