Jean Wallace                        

Elegy for Emily
series of 25 images, 2010
(encaustic, oil, mixed media on birch)
10" x 10" x 1.5" each

This body of work is inspired by time spent with my terminally ill niece, Emily. I use a variety of media to explore the profound experiences of powerlessness, loss, and grief and thus demonstrate how process, materials, and imagery can carry equal weight. These encaustic paintings on wood panels are abstract images informed by illness. The building up and peeling away of layers of wax is suggestive of epidermis and the internal body in its’ translucent, viscous, and tissue-like qualities. Color intentionally plays a significant emotive role in these works, with a palette consisting primarily of muted brown, red, and purple tones.