Jessica Eldredge is an artist working in Old City Philadelphia. She has a BA from Smith College and an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Material Culture.
"My work has always been about color and pattern inspired by quilts, weaving and other textiles as well as decorative arts such as stained glass and tiles – anything that puts lots of small things together to make a larger whole. For the past ten years I have been using fiber-reactive dye and cotton paper initially creating collages with hand-dyed paper, and most recently painting with it directly on paper.
These works are from a series I am working on about my phone. I made these “phones” to try to change my relationship to and my thinking about it. I love my phone— there is a joy in its magic — the pictures I take, the images I can see and the way I can share what I make, the way I can connect and communicate. But there is obviously a dark side to this magic as well and I feel myself changed by it. I am always aware of my phone, and I know my ability to focus my thoughts and my actions are hampered by its presence. I decided that instead of battling it, I would have a conversation with it, and create a way to challenge myself to develop a new response to it by making these objects. When I think to reach for my phone, I know I can reach for these paintings instead. Each one is my phone, traced on paper and then cut out. I paint them in my kitchen, line by line and square by square, their intricate nature requires complete presence. The growing collection of them are mementoes of time spent meditative and alive."