Jeanne Williamson Ostroff

Artist's Statement

Jeanne WilliamsonI am very interested in working with the different grid patterns of construction fences. My artwork is a combination of printmaking, painting, collage, and sometimes stitching. At the present time, I am working on boards, or with fabric that has been stitched and stiffened, so it appears more like paper or plastic.

In 2002, I started seeing different patterns, shapes and sizes of orange construction fences as they were being used at many construction sites as a barrier to keep people out of danger, by blocking off the site.

I think in grids, and because of that, I fell in love with the fences immediately. I began monoprinting their textures and patterns.

After watching the fences out in their element over time, I noticed that on hot days they can get limp and sag, and on cold days they sometimes crack and break. At times my use of the printed fence follows the grid, and at other times I like to break it apart, the same as can happen in the life of an actual construction fence.

I have been collecting different kinds of fences for many years, and have at least eighteen or more patterns in my collection, ranging in length from one yard to 50 yards long. Many people know about my love of construction fences, and it's not unusual for a friend to bring me a fence piece back from their vacation, or email pictures of them.

After I monoprint the textures of fences on fabric, I many times stitch the fabric by following the lines of the grids of the fence, and I also incorporate additional painting techniques. Most of the time, I mount the fabric on the boards.

I also create wall pieces and installations with single pieces of monoprinted fabric, which I coat with matt medium so it is stiff like paper or plastic. The front and back sides can be exhibited as an installation or on the wall, and are also weather-proof. Some of my pieces have been outside for more than 18 months and they are doing quite well after having full sun exposure, and also after being rained and snowed on.

The size of my work varies from as small as 6 inches to all the way up to 35 feet. I really enjoy creating work that is small to extremely large, and the challenges that come working in different formats.

Even though I have been working with the construction fences for almost ten years, I have many ideas and inspiration as my work grows. I plan on continuing to use them, and seeing where it leads me in the future.


Photo credit: Susan Metrican

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