Brooklyn-based stop-motion animator and mixed media artist (painter, sculptor) Jessie Brugger chose Isaiah 59 for this fanciful and macabre exploration of Spark+Echo Arts’ 2012 theme “Hands.” Molding clay, Jessie inquires of the imagery in the passage, vividly animating the poetry of the ancient prophet’s grim language.
Artist Curated by
A Confession of National Wickedness
1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. 6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. 7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. 8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; 13 in transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense. 19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. 21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
Born into a Catholic family and having a father who was a Catholic priest, I am intrigued with religion and how it takes such a presence in society. There are a lot of unknown’s when it comes to Religion; for me, and my work is an exploration into that unknown. The church has been a main influence on my life and work; as it is the first place I understood hierarchy, power struggles and gender injustice, at the same time experiencing beauty, light, and spirituality.
I often use the “Carnivalesque” as a vehicle to portray my thoughts and stories. I was interested in the Bible project that Spark and Echo Arts is doing because there were no limits placed on my interpretation of any passage from the Bible.
I chose hands as my theme because I believe the Bible is a mixture of Man’s hands and spirituality. I chose Isaiah 59 because it was so visually dark and showed how evil man could be, yet somewhere in hands that can do evil, they can also do beauty and goodness too. Hands have always been my favorite thing to draw since I was a child. My hands are my tools.
Creating my vision through clay maquettes that I build in order to tell a story, I use the maquettes as a world to draw from, and then animate. The sculptures are raw and imperfect. I am interested in video because of the time element, I am interested in stop-animation because of the freedom of imagination it allows for: each photo that is taken in the process of a stop animation video is a moment in time that is captured, and complete, yet it is part of a bigger picture. My maquettes, paintings, drawings and videos are all part of a bigger world, in which I am creating.
Jessie Brugger was born in Puyallup, Washington. She started her artistic studies of painting, drawing, and mixed media at Western Washington University in 1997. In 2000, she transferred to Concordia University, in Montreal Quebec, receiving her Bachelors of Fine arts in 2002. Jessie moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2005, and in 2010 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art. She started doing stop animation in 2010 with her drawings, clay, and other mixed materials. The videos that Jessie makes are colorful and whimsical, yet disquieting and socially political. In April 2011, she was awarded “Best in Animation” at the New York International Film Festival for her video, “The Stained Glass Window.” Jessie works on her animations, maquettes, paintings and drawings in Brooklyn, New York.