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Artist ID: 2233

During difficult times like these I wonder how what I make, can make a difference? What relief can I offer the world? The answers I have seem simplistic, but they’re the only ones I have. They involve finding what I love in each and every moment, doing my best to focus that and trusting it will grow.
I think that coming to terms with scary things is not a rational process. So I’ve begun letting my imagination come out to play, trying to see things without judgment and finding acceptance and humor wherever I can.

As an assemblage artist I combine objects. As an installation artist I create spaces for the viewer to enter where ordinary objects become extraordinary. I use the objects and space to create a language, tell a story and create a world.

The objects I use in my work are living entities to me. I select ones that are filled with a vital energetic quality and retain a sense of human touch. I find many on trash piles and in flea markets. I bring them home and watch how they communicate with other old things in my studio. Sometimes they laugh at each other, sometimes they scream. But, ultimately, in some definitive, yet inexplicable way, some of these old things request to be joined together. So I grant their request. Later, I find spaces for them to inhabit as an installation.

It is my intent that seeing and experiencing the art I create will make a difference.

This poem of mine might shed some light on my body of work and the materials I use:

In the Night

When the living sleep,
the inanimate

Creeping out
from cobwebbed corners,
they claim residence
from the dark.

Chairs shuffle
like the elderly,
searching for that one comfy spot.

Floors crack and creak
from bearing
the weight of the day.

As a child
when awakened in the night
I cried out.

My father answered
in a whisper,
“Shhh… it’s just the furniture,
it has to stay still all day
so at night it moves around.”

when filled
with a nighttime pot of worry,
I call upon the dark
for release.

Bringing its soft, deep blanket
of mystery,
it accepts mine
as I pause...
to listen
to the furniture.

Janet Orselli is a multidisciplinary artist working in sculpture, site-specific installation, drawing, photography and performance. She has enjoyed over fifteen solo exhibitions, including OK Harris Works of Art, New York City, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston SC and 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC. She has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship and three North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grants. A recipient of an MFA degree from Clemson University, Janet currently lives and works in Columbus NC.

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