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Bēhance

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“Drawing upon her dark past, Ward illustrates an unflinching look into the neurosis of young women in the face of society’s ideals. Working almost exclusively with graphite, her statuesque heroines are riddled with disorders that decay at their allure, rendering them both beautiful yet repugnant. Witness the stunn… Read More
“Drawing upon her dark past, Ward illustrates an unflinching look into the neurosis of young women in the face of society’s ideals. Working almost exclusively with graphite, her statuesque heroines are riddled with disorders that decay at their allure, rendering them both beautiful yet repugnant. Witness the stunningly beautiful, deformed nymphs from the mind of Ward”- WWA Gallery 2012 Read Less
Jessica Ward was born in Agana, Guam in 1982. She has traveled and lived around the world because her father was an Air Force officer. As a child Ward could always be found sketching and drawing and aspired to become an artist when she grew up. She attended Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan… Read More
Jessica Ward was born in Agana, Guam in 1982. She has traveled and lived around the world because her father was an Air Force officer. As a child Ward could always be found sketching and drawing and aspired to become an artist when she grew up. She attended Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan and received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art-Drawing with a minor in Illustration. Ward’s art work is inspired by eating disorders, which she herself has struggled with with since adolescence. Working exclusively in the drawing medium, she uses graphite, color pencils and chalk pastels on paper. She had her first gallery show in 2008, and has been exhibiting her work internationally since. Read Less
“Hair Abjection”

♦Anorexia nervosa has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness
♦The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 �" 24 years old
♦In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 milli… Read More
“Hair Abjection”

♦Anorexia nervosa has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness
♦The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 �" 24 years old
♦In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia
♦Age at onset of an eating disorder:
♦10% report onset at 10 years or younger
♦33% report onset between ages of 11-15
♦43% report onset between ages of 16-20
♦86% report onset of illness by the age of 20

“It is, at the most basic level, a bundle of contradictions: a desire for power that strips you of all power. A gesture of strength that divests you of all strength.”
- Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia 1998

My current body of work is a series of drawings done in graphite, color pencil, water color and chalk pastel on archival board and paper. I am addressing the issue of often hidden neuroses of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Over Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. In some of my drawings I explore the start and cause of eating disorders in child hood and it’s long lasting affects through the adult life. I use my own personal experiences to flesh out stories in each drawing. I place symbols that embellish themes of fetishes with the body. The subjects are abject female figures that are grotesque or incomplete. In these figures I include a sense of body dissatisfaction and thus showing body image coping patterns through sealing or idealizing the body. Hair plays an important role in my work, it is my visual representation of the multidimensional eating disorder. When hair grows it starts from inside our skin then grows out like ideas and emotion, this is where I give it a life of it’s own as a metaphor. For example, so much about eating disorders has to do with feelings of control and by cutting hair that is a symbol of a loss of power or control. Hair evokes a long history of symbolism from around the world which I often reference. My drawings have almost a trichophilia for hair. The cat represents regressive fantasies. Regression is a form of retreat, going back to a time to when the person felt safer. I view them as an escape, craving of their simple lifestyle. They are often observing and appear to be loyal and non judgmental companions. In allot of my work I draw on pastel or kitsch colors this is a reference to childhood and innocence. I often use pink because pink encourages action, motion, courage and passion. Pink is viewed as gentle and appropriate color for healing and can be used to relieve depression. I use these colors for their comfort or warmth in juxtaposition to disturbing subject matter or imagery. The use of patterns literally mean patterns that eating disordered individuals often take on in their manic routines. Another symbol I use are spirals, like a downward spiral into a cycle one feels as if they cannot escape from. Forced to repeat the same self destructive acts over and over again. My work is an intended catharsis for the viewer, evoking overwhelming feelings, resulting in restoration and renewal in oneself. Read Less
Member Since: Jan 27, 2009