Wisconsin artist Jessica Calderwood blends a background in metalsmithing, and a specific interest in enameling, with a desire to investigate the social and cultural dynamics of contemporary society. Her work of the last decade—jewelry, sculpture, and wall reliefs that often combine images of plants and humans—has emphasized the construction, development, and articulation of femininity and identity.
With her installation for RAM’s Windows on Fifth Gallery, Fictitious Flora includes provocative two-and three dimensional works that reflect Calderwood’s interest in investigating gender, symbolism, and issues of aggression, peace, and social responsibility. Made of enamel, felt, polymer, vitreous china, and porcelain, her four-foot-tall figures— adorned with deftly constructed floral forms and her translation of handguns into flat images of pattern and color— address complex cultural topics, such as the relationships between the beautiful and the absurd, the powerful and the powerless, and the feminine and the masculine.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website