Statement

Setting glass in place before firings

Regard this fleeting world like this: Like stars fading and vanishing at dawn, like bubbles on a fast-moving stream, like morning dewdrops evaporating on blades of grass, like a candle flickering in a strong wind, echoes, mirages and phantoms, hallucinations, and like a dream.

— The Eight Similes of Illusion from the Prajna Paramita Sutras- The Buddha



Jenn Shifflet is an artist working across disciplines to explore the contemplative and poetic realms of luminosity, color, and space. Her work speaks of dream-like realms, fleeting moments of refracted light, and abstracted reflections of the natural world. Themes of impermanence, alchemy, perception, layered time, and fluidity guide her creative process.


Shifflet’s work is a meditation on the dissolution of boundaries between self and nature; a place where sky-like gradients give way to luminous inner worlds of reflection. Organic forms dissolve into fluid pathways veiled by ethereal mists, watery drips, and orchestrations of spheric light. She mines the immaterial through the blurred lines of ambiguity, formlessness, and ethereality. Auras of light transform the physic stains and shadowed sediments that have settled through experience and time.


Shifflet’s process balances intuition, control, chance, and letting go. Choices of materials often work with light to create moments of perception: reflective, transparent, iridescent, and refractive pigments, and mirrors. Mediums made fluid through watery pours and drips elevate a feminine wisdom that wears down and tempers the hard edges of the world. Time unfolds slowly through endlessly layered transparent pigmented washes that create a saturated, spacious, and luminous depth through gradated color.


The historical influences of Shifflet’s work include color field painting, color theory, and the light and space movement. Personal influences of Buddhist practice, daily walks at dusk, living with a lifelong illness, and a near-death experience have led to the visual language of a beauty that is held within the profound fragility of impermanence. In a world that is burdened by struggle on so many levels, her work inspires us to take a break from the chaos of the outer world, to pause, slow down and rest in this moment of contemplation.

Setting glass into the kiln