In the works of Jessica Bell, what you see is what you get, and what you don’t see is what you get as well.
This is the way Bell constructs her work: each of her objects—indebted heavily to the language of painting and its intersection with the nature of fibre—are made to become more than she (and we) initially imagine them to be. Front becomes back; long becomes short; empty becomes full. This quality of flexibility carries with it an air of the cryptic: in fashioning the work to accommodate change, Bell asks us to entertain the possibility of an artwork that saves secrets for the future.
P.S., Jessica Bell’s first exhibition with Central Art Garage, runs concurrently with two exhibitions of her work in Vancouver: Should we stop here?, a solo show at Initial Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery’s exhibition of paintings nominated for the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, a prize for which she was previously nominated in 2013.
Image credit: Jessica Bell, Gulliver (2015), Series of 14, Painted paper fragment, button thread and Belgian linen on stretcher, 18 x 24 inches each