Colorful Collages and Negative Space
By Richard Malinsky, Arts Editor
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Jacqueline Dee Parker is a mixed-media painter and poet. Her website documents a fruitful dialog between these two art forms that are a thread that runs throughout her extensive body of work.
Born in New York City and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, her early years in the home of an architect and violinist clearly have influenced her aesthetic sensibilities. She speaks of her early exposure to architecture as cultivating her interest in spacial relationships and an appreciation of the evolution of concept to form. Music aroused layers of emotional response.
A balance of emotional and structural concerns are evident in “Lo and Behold” as she explores boundaries, borders, and intersections. There is a lyrical sense of time and place in this work.
Parker feels her earlier neutral canvases may be a bit more about structure and architecture. What’s Left Unsaid is a series from 2010 inspired by the concept that a poem makes as much use of what is not said as that which is spelled out in words. Its full expression is what is selectively left off the page. The quiet negative spaces in these collage paintings are just as important as the painted areas. They are the areas that engage and entice emotive feeling from the viewer.
Technically, Parker’s collage materials include paper from antique and vintage books and other sources. She refers to these materials as “relics of human life and culture that encourage sense memories, stir associations, and offer the brick and mortar for a visceral construction of psychic and emotional space.”
Periodically she uses book covers as a support for her work, as seen in “Sonnet In The Neighborhood,” as a symbol of unity between her aesthetic concerns. Conceptually, she states, “The book is a container for ideas and feelings, and suggests intimacy and space for reflection.”
Parker’s use of color is masterful—sometimes as small punctuations and others as large background fields that set the stage for interior constructions. Her color is orchestrated like a musical score from Pianissimo to Mezzo Forte. She uses the emotive qualities of color to signify place, time of day, interior and exterior spaces. The whimsical piece “Blue (In a Red State)” employs a unique red as both background and foreground in a creative design of positive and negative shapes. This is not a commanding red like a stop sign. Rather a softer intriguing red that draws you into the image.
A recent piece, “In Liminal Space (Godzilla Roars)” is a 2017 series grouping of 5 x 7-inch collage paintings on canvas panels grouped to function as parts of a whole. It is a good example of how she brings an individual personality to each piece with color and form variety within a unified vision.
Jacqueline Dee Parker joined the Department of Art at Louisiana State University in 2003. She was awarded a juror’s prize in the 2009 Rauschenberg Tribute Exhibition (Museum of the Gulf Coast), and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the recipient of a 2007 Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana State Division of the Arts. She lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, cellist Dennis Parker, and their children.
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