by C.J. Charbonneau
Image: Installation view, Paper Memory, photo by CJ Charbonneau
In a world of diminishing personal connections, where every story is carefully crafted for the consumption of others, Paper Memory provides welcome authenticity.
The show finds its conceptual basis in the recall of lived experience: love, loss, death, and those smaller moments that randomly imprint themselves upon us. Amanda Jolley’s precisely rendered origami models reference significant moments in her life. When opened, the flattened paper reveals a reticulated pattern of lines. Jolley equates this permanent change in the form—the “memory” of the paper—to the marks of experience on the mind.
The accompanying encaustic paintings, reminiscent of abstract color field works, feature a consistent palette of muted pastel shades that Jolley says represent her most vulnerable self. The broad brush strokes are overlapped in some paintings with thinly drawn geometric boat forms. In other works, the base palette is interrupted by swipes of black or red, or even masked outright with darker tones, intentional gestures of self-protection.
Each grouping corresponds to a specific memory, elucidated in a series of short written vignettes. Deeply felt stories unfold; some elegiac, some fond recollections of characters in her life story. The loss of a beloved pet. An imaginary friend. The paper boats that cemented her friendship with an elderly mentor, returned her to a place of joy in difficult times, and connected her with own children.
In the revelation of her private joy and sorrows, Amanda Jolley invites us to contemplate our own emotional narratives.