|Jeremiah Jenkins, Censer, 2012|
Jeremiah Jenkins: Miners are searchers. They're searching for something physical and practical in the industrial world, but if taken out of that part of the context what they do is very spiritual. To a monk there is acknowledgement of darkness without fear or avoidance. When miners descend into the darkness of the mine each day, it's similar to descending into spiritual darkness. They are guided by a light and by their fellow miners.
Faith has a huge part in mining culture, because disasters are frequent and the work is hard. Faith in their god, faith in themselves, and faith in the industry are always a drive for them to go forward.
SB: "Dreamcatcher (Racecar)" alludes to a Native American dreamcatcher, while also commenting on the very American obsession with Nascar and cars in general. What was your purpose in juxtaposing the two cultural ideals?
JJ: Car culture is a modern native American tradition. While in many many ways it clashes with the views and lifestyles of the original culture of the Americas, it is a very firm fixture. There is something primal and natural about our fascination with racing or just the speed and power an engine provides. I think it's the same reason we started riding horses. It is an extension of ourselves. Of course that hits trouble when we realize the costs and side effects involved.
I want to reconcile the two sides of my piece, the dream and the nightmare.
|Jeremiah Jenkins, Dreamcatcher (Racecar), 2012|
SB: Both of your pieces in our Sin and Redemption show are made of unusual materials. Can you tell us a little about how you choose and acquire objects for your work?
JJ: Choosing and acquiring materials is part luck and part searching. I'm constantly searching flea markets, thrift stores, and other places for something that gives me a spark. From there, the more I look into the object the more I find connections to another object or idea. I try to create a bridge between the ideas that points to a truth I see. Sometimes I'm amazed by what I find and where I find it. I think of it like finding tools and arrowheads at an archeological site, but I'm finding the arrowheads of our culture now and making a survey of the present.