Brooklyn-based stop-motion animator and mixed media artist (painter, sculptor) Jessie Brugger chose Isaiah 59 for this fanciful and macabre exploration of Spark and Echo Arts’ 2012 theme “Hands.” Molding clay, Jessie inquires of the imagery in the passage, vividly animating the poetry of the ancient prophet’s macabre language.

 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt…
They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
(from Isaiah 59)

Jessie Brugger, on her process: 

Born into a Catholic family and having a father who was a Catholic priest,  I am intrigued with religion and how it takes such a presence in society.  There are a lot of unknown’s when it comes to Religion; for me, and my work is an exploration into that unknown. The church has been a main influence on my life and work; as it is the first place I understood hierarchy, power struggles and gender injustice, at the same time experiencing beauty, light, and spirituality.

I often use  the “Carnivalesque” as a vehicle to portray my thoughts and stories. I was interested in the Bible project that Spark and Echo Arts is doing because there were no limits placed on my interpretation of any passage from the Bible.

I chose hands as my theme because I believe the Bible is a mixture of Man’s hands and spirituality. I chose Isaiah 59 because it was so visually dark and showed how evil man could be, yet somewhere in hands that can do evil, they can also do  beauty and goodness too. Hands have always been my favorite thing to draw since I was a child. My hands are my tools.

Creating my vision through clay maquettes that I build in order to tell a story, I use the maquettes as a world to draw from, and then animate. The sculptures are raw and imperfect.  I am interested in video because of the time element, I am interested in stop-animation because of the freedom of imagination it allows for: each photo that is taken in the process of a stop animation video is a moment in time that is captured, and complete, yet it is part of a bigger picture. My maquettes, paintings, drawings and videos are all part of a bigger world, in which I am creating.

 

Jessie Brugger was born in Puyallup, Washington. She started her artistic studies of painting, drawing, and mixed media at Western Washington University in 1997. In 2000, she transferred to Concordia University, in Montreal Quebec, receiving her Bachelors of Fine arts in 2002. Jessie moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2005, and in 2010 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art. She started doing stop animation in 2010 with her drawings, clay, and other mixed materials. The videos that Jessie makes are colorful and whimsical, yet disquieting and socially political. In April 2011, she was awarded “Best in Animation” at the New York International Film Festival for her video, “The Stained Glass Window.” Jessie works on her animations, maquettes, paintings and drawings in Brooklyn, New York.

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