Jill Shoffiett

Spaces talk. The landscapes we surround ourselves with communicate with us and become like stage sets. These intimate rooms and landscapes, filled with seemingly random junk, are battlegrounds of unknowable struggles and striking moments of clarity. The spaces are metaphors for mental states, existential narratives. I’m fascinated by the items people hoard, and ultimately abandon. Connections between places, objects, land, and stories of identity have deep roots in my background; though I’ve lived in New York a long time, the landscape (actual and figurative) of my native Mississippi has structured the language I use in my work. But clues of the human struggle to find meaning can be discovered in all our physical spaces, regardless of location, through connections to the land and the interiors we make within that land. In my work, the human action has temporarily ceased, yet sentinels often stand in for the missing people: these can be junked cars, old dolls, trees, or ceramic cats. This drive to create meaning, to cope, to make plans, strikes me as a universal human trait: I attempt to capture it through scenes of suspended human endeavor.