My practice consists of process-based objects and low relief paintings made entirely out of acrylic paint. The working process I devise is predetermined and regulated, yet the element of chance is integral to the work due to material constraints. Through this, I explore the sculptural potential and plasticity of a material traditionally used for painting. While acrylic is a relatively new material, designed to be durable and long lasting, the forms I create out of acrylic paint are vulnerable to climate, gravity, and time and therefore counter plastic’s perceived resilience.
My interest in the plasticity of acrylic paint has influenced the decision to work with plastic, synthetic colours as well as ‘dayglo’ fluorescents. As this work has developed, I have come to understand pigments and binders, and how they can drastically affect the physicality of coloured acrylic paint. Colour plays a crucial role in the construction of these objects, and this role goes beyond pure aesthetic choices. Certain colours are inherently stronger and more rigid which allows them to better withstand the effects of elements such as humidity and gravity. On the other hand, there are colours that are delicate and infinitely elastic and are more sensitive to external forces. The sculptural aspect of my practice is dependent on thinking of colour as strategic structural components, and not entirely aesthetically. It is through experimentation and manipulation of colour and dry times that I am able to build these objects that hover between painting and sculpture.
Jessica Massard holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Waterloo, a BFA from NSCAD University, and a Fine Art Diploma from Fanshawe College. Prior to this, she studied design at Fanshawe College. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, and has work in several private collections. She is a Professor in the Bachelor of Design and Design Foundations programs at Conestoga College and currently lives and works in Waterloo, Ontario.