Posts Tagged ‘heart’


detail of “Odalisque de la Forêt”

I admittedly am seriously neglectful of my blog and I’m pretty sure ‘all’ my posts start with this same apology/excuse…but I really am so much better at expressing myself with pictures rather then words so I just seem to forget about it most of the time….BUT since I finally settled on a title (which must ….”Use your words”) for my upcoming show I figured now is a good excuse to tend to the desert garden that is my blog ;-P


“Charming the Wilds” I have been working on this new body of work since early 2014. My process is that of a slow evolution of thoughts and ideas, a melding together of the images that spoke to me in the last “body” and the reshaping of those familiar characters into their expanded world and skin.

When I first began thinking about the direction for my new body of work, I kept thinking about mysteries, magic, the unknown, Alchemy imagery…


‘Conjuring’ this was the word that kept creeping into my mind, I wanted an action word in my title, often my titles are only descriptive of the work such as “Creatures of Saintly Disguise” or Treacherous Gardens” but this time, this show called for something more direct, or at least as direct as one can get while trying to still create work that is elusive and open to personal interpretation ;-P So originally I thought the title would be “Conjuring Miss Direction” I like plays on words…I still like that title and will likely use it for one of the individual pieces but it didn’t seem to work as an overall theme.


detail WIP peeks from several pieces

I do like the images the word ‘Conjuring’ evokes, it feels powerful, assured, direct, but maybe too strong…I had written down “charmer” in my sketchbook along with enchantment, illusionist, incantation and Miss perception…..I came back to that page today and it suddenly seemed so clear….Charming….I like that word, A LOT, it is a delicious sort of word.  To have the ability to Charm takes a different kind of power, it is still strong but soft and alluring at the same time, it ‘conjures’ images of hypnotized ladies being led through the woods by beasts or the ability to charm the fairy voice out of a flower and bring it to a new level of life, the ability to communicate with animals, it also can feel mischievous but not too dark. It was finally settled, the first word anyway….the rest came quickly though. In looking around at what was coming to life in my studio there’s a mingling of nature, mysterious creatures and Lilith..


details of several ‘Lilith’ characters in new work

…all of these things make me think of the words ‘The Wilds’ the wilds in the deep dark parts of our hearts and souls, the wild beast that lives inside us sometimes, it evokes images of wild animals and hidden places and plant life that can grow around whatever we put in its path, “the wilds’ feels alive.  I want to charm the wilds I want to bring a little magic into the world if I can…So “Charming the Wilds” feels like it was there all along under the soil waiting for me to kick some dirt aside and find it there smiling up at me like a shiny coin with a cute little face.


detail WIP

Thats all for now I hope to see some of you at my show“Charming the Wilds”

opening on June 13th 2015 at AFA gallery in NYC


You can also follow me on Instagram @jennybirdart if you aren’t already to see more sneak peeks of works in progress

tweets for the sweet,


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It doesn’t seem dignified somehow, to wear ones heart on one’s sleeve, though I seem to be tripping over mine, in my work, on a regular basis.


(detail of new painting, ‘Dissecting Girls Disguised as Butterflies II)

In my new body of work ‘Curious Nature’  set to be unveiled at AFA Gallery http://afanyc.com/jennybird-alcantara/curious-nature-press-release/  in NYC on the 19th of October, my characters are fused with nature.  The external ‘garment’ is a metaphor for the internal world and rather than wearing her heart on her sleeve ‘she’ is wearing her heart from collar to hem. The organic elements that flow out from her core are a fusion of  flora, fauna and flesh.  These strange garments embody the essence of her being, her inner workings on display….Her body is ornamentation, a sacred space, a glass house.


detail ‘The Curious Nature of Extraordinary Beings’

Part of the early inspiration for this series came from childhood memories of bee and bird funerals. We engaged in this ritual when we happened upon a deceased bee or the occasional baby bird that fell out of the nest and didn’t survive. My older sister would play the ‘minister’. I would make the coffin out of a small box lined with tissue and flowers and we would hold the ceremony on the side of our house, with the neighborhood kids in attendance playing the mourners. Its memory is so vivid in my mind and the more I think about it the more curious it becomes.  We were rehearsing sorrow and using that ritual to create meaning.


detail ‘The Curious Nature of Extraordinary Beings’

During the process of working on this show my dear father passed unexpectedly and I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to continue working and have to cancel my show. He was such a strong supporter of my work, so knowing that as well as how excited he was for my NY show helped me to be able to continue working. While I always feel that my heart is out on a string in my work, this show has a much more tender melancholy feeling to me.

This display of emotions draped like a garment on the outside of the characters in this series made me think of the Victorian convention of Floriography , using flowers,  plants and arrangements to send a coded message to the recipient, thereby  expressing feelings which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society.



They had flower dictionaries to indicate what flower was associated with which sentiment and often exchanged small “talking bouquets”, called tussie-mussies or nosegays which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory. It’s such a romantic idea and a way to have an outward expression of what exists in the heart and mind and I love that.

I think of tattoos as our modern day Tussie Mussies.


I hope that you will join me for the opening if you are in the NYC area.


with love


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