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recycled art      salvaged art     organic sculpture   installations
Comfort and Grace

Jocelyn Ferguson

Comfort and Grace, which Jocelyn produced for Salvaged, includes found objects imbued with personal meaning. In essence, this work is about the challenges of integrating religion into everyday life. By subverting the conventions of home decorating – hanging artworks and placing furniture – Jocelyn creates meaning in subtle and overt ways. She asserts that what surrounds you in your home nourishes and plays a part in completing your sense of who you are.

By using pieces of carpet salvaged from a local Catholic Church renovation, as well as    reproductions from a textbook on teaching religion to children (found in a thrift shop),
Jocelyn brings attention to the act of throwing things away – things which may have had or still have powerful intentions built right into their very fibers.

Jocelyn’s work brings up many questions. When renovating, tossing out the old for the new, what gets lost in this kind of overhaul?   What still remains as a kind of relic within objects destined for the scrap heap?   How do we re-infuse meaning and gain inspiration from new materials, newly realigned spaces of worship, and does it matter what the package looks like? When highly charged religious imagery or text is brought into ones own living room, how does it influence our children’s concepts of the divine, and their sense of design?  How powerful are symbols?  What about images of suffering or of resurrection?  How do we, as parents, make editorial choices on what are appropriate images to hang in ones home, to give access on one’s bookshelf?

By choosing to title this installation Comfort and Grace, Jocelyn hopes that viewers will understand that she is not mocking the teachings of the church, for she has truly found comfort here.  She does however wish to draw attention to the ways in which our depictions of good and evil, saints and sinners have changed over time.  She is particularly interested in the way religious teaching materials are constructed for children, and wonders about how the illustrations and ‘artworks’ may influence their impressionable minds.

The secret ‘chapel’ like space behind the sofa, the alter triptych backdrop and the smell of  burning beeswax candles combine with the 1970’s living room look to invite viewers to   visit with  Jocelyn’s  childhood self.  She was and still is a seeker, a thinker, and by making art, uses whatever it takes to find some peace and rest for her restless mind.