Jennifer Stratton

In Residence: September 5 – October 26, 2015

Social Practice: Ecology, Soil and Food Systems
Press release: Soil City events at PlatteForum October 22 + 24

Jennifer Stratton is an artist and environmental researcher whose work incorporates issues of ecology, food security and soil science. Employing natural elements, she creates images and time based-media documenting interactions between human systems, plants, microbes and sediment on photographic materials and cultural ephemera.

Through making and sharing this work she is interested in how the physical properties of soil can communicate intangible connections between individuals, communities, and the material world.  With her recent investigations Stratton seeks to critically analyze historical transformations and non-traditional modes of food production that are typically deemed “strange” or “inedible.”

During her residency at PlatteForum Jennifer will continue making art in collaboration with communities through creating a series of living soil-based portraits of Denver, that collectively compose (and decompose) a tapestry of the city’s changing landscape, foodways, and people. Much of Stratton’s work thus far has focused on rural communities and environments; dedicating time at PlatteForum will allow her an opportunity to apply her art practice and inquires to an urban landscape. Engaging with the dynamic cityscape of Denver, Stratton will facilitate a series of Learning Labs with our ArtLab Interns that will explore representations of place at the intersection of personal ethnography, image making and environmental alchemy. Learning Lab sessions will be comprised of activities like urban foraging walks, collecting soil samples, tastings and recipe exchanges. Part of these outdoor workshops will also involve playful experimentation with embedding subject matter onto materials and vice versa, through time-based techniques such as crafting handmade animations, vermicomposting imagery and gathering materials for the aforementioned living tapestry.

Stratton has an MFA from Duke University, is a participant in the International Year of Soils and Slow Meat Symposium, and the upcoming 2016 mobile Image Trails tour across North America to places urban, rural and in between.