Last time you ate a pancake?
Favorite day of the week?
Favorite website besides your own?
Give us a brief description of you and your artwork.
I enjoy the company of animals in life and in artwork. Invasive, endangered, and mythic animals uncurl from my imagination in the form of woodcut prints. I am constantly dumbfounded about how animals and the environment are treated but my hope is that education and understanding leads to respecting and attaching importance to our own backyards and beyond. ‘Global Warming Band-aids’ are all about how we are trying to drastically change the environment with geo-engineering projects spanning from dumping iron into the ocean to shooting mirrors into space. ‘Invasive Animals’ are almost all labeled as such because humans transported the beasts all around the world. ‘Bird Migration Myths’ are about the Victorian era naturalist's thoughts about where birds “went” in the wintertime.
I make artwork because I believe that my job is to bring a voice to our drastically changed landscape that has been deprived, depleted, and altered.
You're a woodcut or xylography artist. Can you briefly explain the process and what drew you to it?
I mostly make color-reduction woodcuts which means I take one block of one, carve away the white (color of the paper), roll up the first color and print an edition. Then I carve away the first color, roll up the second color and print it exactly on top of the first color. It is a pretty labor intensive process. I was originally drawn to woodcuts because the designs that were in my head look like woodcuts so when I found the process, it just clicked. I don't know if I could paint something to look like my prints.
There seems to be a resurgence in 'old world' print techniques with letterpress leading the charge. Where do you see woodcut artists fitting into this resurgence?
Woodcut artists could be hired to make awesome dingbat designs. Any excuse to use that word :)
What's your goal as an artist?
I feel pretty lucky that I can make my work full-time and make the work I want to make. I hope someday to do less art/street festivals and figure out a way to sell my work other than pounding the pavement. I am currently in contact with a few people to buy art for zoos, aquariums and gift shops, it would a be a dream to have my work in conservation oriented organizations.
Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?
I love Plywerk! You guys have such a wonderful product and are truly a joy to work with. All the quirky tag lines in emails make me giggle. And, I must admit, I hate framing so to be able to pop something directly on the wall is super appealing.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I am a science junkie or you could call me a nerd. I read a lot, living in Ithaca NY is super helpful because wonderful people are always passing through and my partner works at Cornell so I have access to the most remote scientific journals. I can read about algae that grow on the scales of sardines, if I choose.
Is your artwork commissioned, freelance, a bit of both?
Hmm...I usually save 1 spot a year for a commissioned piece and the other pieces I make are all my own doing. Though so many interesting people have been knocking on my email door and asking about commissions, next year I may do a few more. A person who studies amazonian armored catfish wondered if I would like to make him a piece and I am working on 2 gigantic woodcuts all about the amazing biodiversity of the barrier islands of Georgia.
How do you like your eggs prepared?
With a pile of kale on top.
Favorite type of melon?
Favorite living artist?
Does thinking of Plywerk give you love butterflies in your stomach?
Would you describe kohlrabi as more of a turnip or radish?
I think it is more of a turnip but even better looking.
More about Jenny
Jenny Pope is an artist is known for her large, color-reduction woodcut prints, often featuring compelling combinations of species with odd or interesting elements from their natural histories. Her interests include endangered species, invasive species, and the bizarre mythologies that have been created to help explain the amazing things that birds do. She hopes her work provides an interesting avenue for people to contemplate our environment. She travels a lot, maybe even to your neck of the woods. The next time she comes to Portland we'll definitely nerd out and listen to hours of Radio Lab while discussing what it takes to make a perfect scone.
Win a Jenny Pope print on Plywerk
Post a comment below and you will automatically be entered in a drawing to win an 11x14 Jenny Pope print reproduction mounted on 3/4" bamboo Plywerk!!! We'll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early August to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We'll ship it anywhere in the continental US for free. If you win and need it shipped internationally, you're on the hook for shipping costs. Sorry to be so mean.