Ariel René Jackson’s multidisciplinary practice translates narratives of belonging, by way of performative and sculptural acts, utilizing repurposed imagery or objects. In the context of Jackson’s practice, belonging refers to having a kinship with a place or situation. Themes of loss and transformation are embedded in Jackson's interest and application of sculpture, video, and performance with a focus on land and landscape as sites of internal representation.
In rural Louisiana, Jackson’s familial farming legacy sustains her regard for rural landscapes. Generations of Black farmers have fostered Jackson’s sense of inheritance, witnessing oral testaments and patternistic rituals in light of economic, environmental, and societal challenges. Exploring concepts of how culture is learned, Jackson modifies familial and antique farming, household, and educational tools and furniture, considering each object’s purpose before translation to a writing utensil, size expansion, or embedment within topsoil.
Throughout Jackson’s recent work, she explores oral testaments and local histories, through repurposed meteorological tools and site specific performances. In “A Welcoming Place” (2019) Jackson walks with a black weather balloon around a confederate flag in the middle of Bentonville, Arkansas. This action is choreographed by stitched conversations between generations of Black women, addressing the statue’s impact on their lives. Leaning towards cyclical narrative as opposed to linear, Jackson is invested in weaving poetic letters that avoid passive storytelling and embrace active testimonials. Visual, oral, and aural elements extend outward coalescing to make visceral, notions of belonging explored through a myriad of processes.
Jackson (b.1991; Monroe LA) grew up between New Orleans & Mamou, LA. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX where she completed her MFA at The University of Texas at Austin in 2019. She is an alum of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2019) and completed an exchange program at Royal College of Art in 2018. Her work has been shown at the SculptureCenter (2019); CUE Art Foundation (2018); Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2018); Depaul Art Museum (2018); Studio Museum in Harlem (2016), and RISD Museum (2017).