An Interview with Jenniffer Omaitz
Jenniffer Omaitz Constructions at BAYarts interview by Jessica Stockdale
Through a thoughtful blending of paintings, assemblage and site-specific installation, Jenniffer Omaitz tackles chaos and form in her new exhibition Constructions. This is the first time she has displayed her 2D and 3D work together, and with it, overlapping weighty themes of architecture, boundaries, movement and geometry.
JS: Can you talk about the 3D installations? What features of the gallery appealed to you most?
JO: The ceiling is one of the most distinguishing architectural features, with giant circular openings. I wanted to activate it more with sculptural elements linking at least two openings together through a suspended structure with lighting. A reoccurring trope in my installation work is to bring importance to underrecognized architectural features. I noticed that the entire first floor looked like the golden ratio, a mathematical tool for measurement and design. The circle theme will be reoccurring in most of the work in some way, exploring moments of containment and openness.
Did you begin working on some of these pieces only after seeing the gallery, or did they change once you saw the space?
The idea of working with the gallery features was instantly sparked when seeing the space. They will adapt somewhat when I start on-site construction for the show responding to both the gallery and what is happening in the paintings.
What sort of energy are you trying to present in your work?
Harnessed and frozen chaos vs. order. A constructed viewpoint to interior and exterior spaces that are both real and imagined; dualities, boundaries, and fresh experiences. I think the energy from both practices will show a depth of investigation for my interest in states of change between order and chaos as they relate to environmental shift, mirrored in natural disasters occurring throughout the world, politics, housing crisis and urban development.
What sort of materials do you use to create these pieces?
Found objects, made objects, fabricated and collected pieces ranging from metals to plastics, trinkets. Things just happen to wind up in the installations that are responsive and more immediate, wieldy, awkward, jarring and intimate at times. Whereas the paintings are constructed more traditionally on panel or canvas—a much slower process—they explore ideas of boundary, fold, movement, and some sort of construction process.
What was your inspiration?
Architecture trends, natural disasters, photographs, designs, graphic design, collage, collected materials.
Anything else that you feel is important for people to know about this exhibition?
I’ve exhibited painting and an assemblage on occasion, but never a body of paintings and a site-specific installation. I have never had the opportunity to show this caliber of work together and I am really excited to see new links and get responses.
JENNIFFER OMAITZ: CONSTRUCTIONS | MARCH 9–APRIL 6
ANNUAL JURIED EXHIBITION | APRIL 13–28
ENCORE: PLAYHOUSE RENOVATION BENEFIT | APRIL 28
BODY OF WORK: CERAMIC EXHIBITION | MAY 4–MAY 26
28795 Lake Road
Bay Village, Ohio 44140