I have photographed my children for years, fascinated by their growth and our evolution as a family. Last fall my youngest left for college. My newly emptied nest was both a gift and a challenge. Suddenly I had more time to devote to my own pursuits, but the silence and solitude made it harder to ignore the chatter that populates my head. While some of the voices were encouraging, the loudest ones were not. I found myself wondering how my children had grown up while I still had so much to figure out about myself.
Invented Inventory is a series of self-portraits cataloguing the thoughts, feelings, and attributes I’ve uncovered at this crossroads. Each image is a physical manifestation of some facet of my exploration. By painting, sewing, collecting and constructing all of the elements of the final image, I create a work that is uniquely mine and mine to determine. This control stands in contrast to the vulnerability I feel standing in front of the camera. Ultimately, it’s the balance between the two that interests me most.
Jackie Heitchue is an emerging artist with a long history behind the camera. After graduating with a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art, she was a photojournalist and chief photographer for a chain of newspapers in Northern Virginia. Jackie went on to study art education at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and taught photography to public high school students. After moving to Connecticut with her husband, son, and daughter, Jackie began to uncover family ties to New England’s history dating back to the Salem witch trials. Ruminating over these connections while watching her children grow and fledge, inspired the work that has been her recent focus. While her images are deeply personal, even autobiographical, they are also metaphorical and fantastical. Each picture is a carefully constructed allegory of such universal themes as love, loss, intimacy, and solitude.
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