Jeri Coppola » Profile


New York NY


Personal Statement

A R T I S T   S T A T E M E N T

My work investigates the gap between the internal landscape of memory and the external world around us. Landscapes become a metaphor for memory, and a trigger to set the story into motion. Place can hold memories that are personal, and at the same time universal.  The flow between real and imagined becomes blurred and my work travels between narrative and dream state.  Sometimes there is a hint of nightmare, or discomfort and I am as interested in memory as I am the loss of memory and forgetting as my work travels between narrative and dream state.  What is left out is often as important as what is included.
In one body of work images are as seen through the car window to the passing scenery.  The window is often visible in the photos, which, when we travel is how we see most of our landscape, even though we tend to see through the smudges and the frame of the window itself and then time erases distortion in our memory.  On the other hand, memory often distorts images and can make them more beautiful or sometimes more disturbing.
In the larger water pieces, size and repetition are used to give that dizzying feeling you get when you watch waves or look down on water from a boat or dock.  Installation and presentation is as important as image in my work, and when I use text it is often a fragment of a larger story.  Titles sometimes take the place of text, more and more the text has become pared down to a passing thought or phrase, which signifies a feeling.
My interest is in locating and responding to memory in the corporeal body. But body can also be literal or implied.  It has both a psychological and physical dimension. Often the pieces are constructed of numerous small parts invoking layered strata of memory. Or they can be made up of projections and shadows. When there is both image and text, the intersection of the two can make up a narrative which is sometimes in sync, or they fight against each other, like seeing something out of the corner of your eye and when you go back either it is very different from what you thought or not there at all. That is the feeling I am trying to project.  Foreign becomes familiar like the moment when you travel and the unfamiliar landscape you are in becomes familiar.

In my work sea is not a specific body of water, rather it is The Sea. Home is not a specific house, industrial and “Drive by” landscapes often don’t have information identifying geography, but rather it is about the act of driving past a place and viewing it peripherally.  The earth becomes body.  Trees become thought, oceans become breath, and everything holds memory. Travel through the landscape can be used as a momentary pause, a chance to go inside your thoughts.


Member for
11 years 26 weeks
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