Practical Magic. Sculptures and drawings are full of abstract symbolism. Throughout the room - on tables, on the floor, adorning other sculptures - are a series of ceramic totems. Tee's practice is informed by all sorts of esoteric ideas.
Jennifer Tee's sculptures and drawings are full of abstract symbolism. The rugs that she has produced for Practical Magic are hand-dyed, hand-woven, and hand-sewn according to precisely conceived plans, in various hues of green, blue and purple. Throughout the room—on tables, on the floor, adorning other sculptures—are a series of ceramic totems. They look like flower forms, such as fox-glove or red-hot poker, while also resembling the bodily interior—DNA strands, brains, intestines, or tissue wrapped around bone. The squat cones of coiled ceramic threads are clumsy and elegant, fragile and stumpy.
The subtle thrill and pleasure that emerges from a too-close encounter with these things is not just caused by the weird excitement that very vulnerable, irreplaceable objects can elicit in us. It is compounded by the shifty and unexplained double purpose for which her objects and sculptures seem to be intended, impregnating the vessels as carriers of mystic meaning and association. Like chakra stones that mark the radiation of energy within the earth or the body, Tee implies that these objects have become the conduits of energy. It is a conflation you can find throughout her practice, where her interest in different belief systems and attitudes will tussle with the autonomy of the sculptural object.
Although Jennifer Tee's practice is informed by all sorts of esoteric ideas, cultural artefacts from her wide wanderings and the theosophical underpinnings of charged matter, it is also a very poignant exploration of the fundamental contradictions we are all composed of—the rational and irrational, knowing and not-knowing, believer or sceptic, spirit and matter. Her forms are both geometric and spontaneous, industrially and hand-made, practical and magical.
Image: Practical Magic, photograph of crystal taken at artist's studio, Amsterdam, 2013
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Opening: Thursday 29 August 6pm
Jennifer Tee will be discussing her newly commissioned work with Tessa Giblin at 5:30pm before the opening, to which all are very welcome.
Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street, Temple Bar
Dublin 2, Ireland
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–8pm