JILL CHERIE MARRIAGE

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?

My name is Jill, I create work under my middle name Cherie, and I am the type of person that will over analyze and over complicate this simple question. Ultimately, I am a creative. My background is in classical music and my desired future is a mix of learning the technical trade of a luthier, creating my own visual work and operating my own gallery space.  

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MEDIUM OF WORK?

I work with mostly found objects and thread to create mixed media collages and installations. I have always been drawn to old items owned by people before me - photos, tools, jewelry boxes, luggage, letters and so on. I love seeing the journey that is literally carved into them by daily life and wondering what their history is as an object and how it fits into the life of another person.

Although I’ve played around with straightforward collage, my main focus is on coding, a form of chance drawing. As time has moved on, the process seems to be more like encryption to me.

DESCRIBE YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND YOUR WORK.

With a simple collage, I find old photographs that have a personality the second I pick them up. Sometimes they’re humorous, sometimes they’re more pessimistic or pointed. It’s a fairly quick process because I have a strong mental picture of what the finished piece will look like and what materials it’ll require.

The coded/encrypted pieces can take much, much longer to materialize. The process started about six years ago when I was trying to find a way to “loosen up” my approach to making work. In trying to create something that didn’t feel forced, I came up with a multistep process to create a lack of control over the final piece, while still being able to control every other element. I’m taking other people’s work (musicians, writers, scientists, etc.) and breaking down the elements that create them (music notes/pitches, letters, experimental data sets and so on) and assigning a color to each element from a “color library” that is unique to each piece based loosely off of the experience of synesthesia. Sometimes, I have whatever object will be adorned with the corresponding colored threads, sometimes I don’t. I have both pages of coded/encrypted data ready to be turned into pieces but haven’t found the perfect platform for them, and I also have some pretty funky materials waiting for me to come across the perfect passage to imbue them with. My workspace is an organized kind of antique/vintage grab bag scavenger hunt.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

In general, people do. I have this continual obsession with the idea of a “perfect stranger” that came from watching the film En La Cama. In a far less romantic way, I have an affinity for the macabre - medical anomalies and their history in circus “freak shows”, psychologies less than the admirable history of asylums, a strange bug, and animal specimens. Anatomy and how it has mutated in an isolated event due to chance or neglect and the process of evolution. Wow, just wow. Otherwise, a good texture, color, literature, and etymology, the power of perception… the list could go on and on.

WHAT DO YOU ASPIRE TO DO WITH YOUR WORK?

I really just want to keep having the ability to make my work. I am so grateful for having the life that allows me the time and resources to express myself.

Do I want to be able to make a career out of my creativity? Well, yeah, of course! Ultimately, I have been creating things my entire life, the vast majority of the time it’s been self-indulgent and strictly for myself. If nothing were to come from me sharing it with others, then I haven’t lost anything. I’ll keep sharing what I make and if people enjoy it and something comes of it organically then I would be really happy with that.

WHO IS/ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST/S?

Strictly in the realm of visual art: I get a kick out of the Dadaists. They were some cheeky characters. My great loves that are no longer alive are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Mark Rothko. Those that are still running around today are Erik Otto, Barry McGee, Mark Warren Jacques, Casey Curran, Monty J Mattison, Jade Tomlinson and Kev James (the “Expanded Eye” duo), and Kareena Zerefos, to name just a few. If you want to talk about music and literature then this list would grow exponentially.

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED WORKING WITH FILM?  

Yes! I mean I kind of already have but large format film is massively different from regular film. I've always wanted a Pentax film camera and learn how to manually expose and develop in a dark room. I'm sad that this wasn't available for me to learn at school, but it didn't fit in with the digital aspect of our program. Film is a dying art, an expensive dying art. I've definitely considered working with film at several points in my journey but overall, I'm not sure fo the market for it.

WHAT DOES FEMINISM MEAN TO YOU?

Feminism is a necessary and forever evolving conversation and movement that advocates equality. It’s also a buzzword that excites, provokes and terrifies people for good and bad reasons alike. It is a shame that it even is a concept, but alas. One. Step. At. A. Time.

DOES YOUR MUSICAL BACKGROUND INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?

Immensely. In the classical music world, your aim is to be as regimented, focused, analytical, disciplined and as consistent as possible in practice and performance. You think “practice makes perfect” and then adjust when you learn “perfect practice makes perfect,” and boy-oh-boy, those are two very different things. Beyond this neurotic work ethic, I am constantly pulling from music of all forms to develop ideas.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

A couple different series! The first is a group that will grow with time that I’ve nicknamed the “Literate Women”. The coded passages are all taken from literature, both classical and more modern/current. The focus isn’t on female authors or even female characters specifically, but by the power that comes from being a well-read woman. 

I have a manifesto series in the drafting stages, which is a collection of just that, manifestos by different groups and individuals of all kinds. A larger scale multi-dimensional coded piece of the first movement of Beethoven’s Op. 18 No. 4 string quartet. 

I also have a series focused on obituaries written about some of my favorite creatives throughout history that I have on my evolving “mort dormir” list (most assuredly not what it would be called in French, but translates to “death sleep”), a list that has the date and reason each person has died and where they are buried, or scattered, or so on.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU?

You can expect me to be curious about things, continually try to find ways to make sense of them and regurgitate them in my own way for others to see!

jcheriemarriage.com

Tammie Valer