Jamie Bates Slone, Helena, Montana
Using naturalistic yet somewhat stylized renderings of the human figure, Jamie Bates Slone explores memories of her family’s experiences with mental and physical illness, and emphasizes the relationship between humans’ biology and emotions.
The smaller-than-life-size figures have unsettling facial expressions and are placed in poses that suggest tension, illness, discomfort, disorientation, and distress. This is reinforced by the unnatural color of the figures’ skin—from a mottled purplish or bluish gray to a bright pink—along with the suggestions of scalpel incisions and the inclusion of areas where the skin seems to be peeled or cut away to reveal shiny areas of acidic green and bright cobalt blue, which is achieved by casting glaze in the kiln. The human and illness are intertwined.
The viewer is left uneasily wondering what the figures are experiencing, what they are expressing through their body language, and what, if anything might be done to help.