Debut de Temps, 2009. Brass and antique watches, 25 x 14 x 25 cm. From the “Shadow of Life” series.

In Search of Universal Dialogue: A Conversation with Jackie Sleper

In a highly unusual mixture of schooling, Utrecht-based Jackie Sleper studied at both the College of Agriculture and Horticulture (now Wellantcollege) and the Utrecht Academy of Visual Arts. While art school honed her technical skills, “farmer’s school,” as she likes to call it, taught her about the fragility of life, the sanctity of nature, and the importance of working with others to get the job done. It also informed the figures of humans, animals, birds, insects, flowers, and plants that populate her paintings, photographs, and clay, porcelain, resin, and wood sculptures. Sleper collects her works into highly thea­t­rical, thematic exhibitions. Based on her many trips to China, Mexico, and India, these shows examine—often with an ironic, humorous, and surreal touch—the threads that connect people on a daily basis. They also can be read as narratives in which the solitary beauty of each intricately crafted work reads like a full-blown story of the artist’s personal experiences as well as those of humankind… see the entire article in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.