Jessica Esch: Artist Statement

Jessica Esch’s Fill in the Blanks typelooping series began by playing with both the repetition of life in a global pandemic and the centering of mantras in the face of uncertainty. Like much of her work, this series draws on her talent as a writer and illustrator to create multi-sensory experiences where words and found materials become meditative chants and unexpectedly beautiful.

Esch uses typelooping to hold words she wants to keep close as well as provide focus, stamina, and surprise. Recognizable phrases gain new meaning when grammar norms are ignored; redundant letters and words are eliminated; and Esch starts to play. Capturing words without spaces or punctuation not only offers a constraint but opens the door to new meanings. Each statement is matched with materials typically recycled and manipulated to feed through one of her 17 typewriters. 

Esch invites viewers to pay close attention and read the letters deliberately so as to allow the original meaning to surface then see how the prose unfolds. Initially, the intentional slowing paralleled the downshift caused by a global pandemic. Today it is an opportunity to bring your whole self to wherever you are at the moment.