Drawing on memories of her adolescence and early twenties in Southern California, Jasmine Little’s works are visual feedback loops between her sculpting, drawing, and painting practices that grapple with questions of craft, culture, and history.
A ‘hoodoo’ is a towering pillar of earth formed through erosion typically found in arid drainage basins or badlands. For Jasmine Little, the hoodoos present in her work are not geological, but emotional. The events and figures depicted in her paintings and ceramics portray how her subjective emotional experiences have metamorphosed over time. By meditating on this history, Jasmine Little will use a painting to inspire a ceramic work, which she will then use for the genesis of her new paintings. In this way, the shapes of one inform the spirit of the next. Jasmine Little processes these moments until the facts are obscured and all that is left is an emotive core.
Jasmine Little’s personal history is juxtaposed with the historical tradition prevalent in her work. When one looks at a work by Jasmine Little one is greeted by a nostalgic flatness. Her figures are reminiscent of drawings by Chagall or Matisse, but her process is surreal and her compositional references are Medieval. Figures layered on top of one another are surrounded by a pattern-like ground of detailed flora that feels like they belong more in the Unicorn Tapestries than in a contemporary painting.
This Medieval visual homage points to the tradition of painting as a craft. Where in the contemporary lexicon a painting is inextricably related with an artist, the Medieval patron employed teams of craftsmen to honor their name. For Jasmine Little, it is this element of painting as a craft rather than concept that ties her painting practice with her ceramic one. This coupled with underlying themes of gender leaves the viewer with a quiet, and slightly funny, series of vulnerable and telling works.