I am interested in developing rich and meaningful vessels for our symbolic language to occupy. This is for both present-day communication about important ideas, and posterity. My explicit intent is to expand calligraphic illumination’s content scope beyond that of anthropocentrism, and to create a cultural reliquary for the recognition and emotive connection to the dire crises of our time; ecological collapse, human cultural estrangement from our ecological, interspecies communities, and climate change from the industrial and capitalist mechanisms of human civilizations.
I am emphasizing rewilding and reenchanting language, and mythopoesis, in a visual context. My illuminations complicate communication by demanding material and aesthetic consideration of the message. I’m interested in human creative expression coexisting with ineffable and indiscernable intelligences, and this allows the work to illuminate interrelatedness to other beings’ agency; mushroom beings, botanical beings, etc. The message is in the material and is written in the material, on the material. This is an investigation and refutation of nature/culture dualism through the lens of deep ecology and relationality that is grounded in the physical negotiation of image, matrix and media.
I write both poetry and essay to create structure for my paintings and drawings, as well as fold in writing and transcripts from other poets, bards, writers and cultural theorists, to develop dialogues and visual essays. I use hand-made inks, herbs, pigments, and gold leaf on paper, as well as print and painting media from traditional illuminated manuscript and book arts. I sing. I scratch. I articulate.
Primarily my work concerns itself with text as a visual medium, however I oscillate between writing, visual art, somatic experiments and symposia collaborations (conversations, dialogues, round tables, salons, etc), which braid together in my studio practice and presentation of my work. Ultimately my work is alchemical, seeking to connect macro patterns (above) with intimate grief and more personal, local ecologies (below) through material. It is both art for art's sake, and artivism.
About the Artist
Candace Jensen is committed to realizing a culture profoundly informed by deep ecology. She is a polymath; an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, letterpress printmaker, calligrapher, book artist, community organizer, activist, rewilding hype-woman and woods witch.
She proudly serves as the Letterpress and Book Arts Director for the Vermont nonprofit the Ruth Stone House, in Goshen VT, as well as the Art Editor and administrative collaborator for its online poetry publication, Iterant Mag.
Jensen has exhibited work in Vermont, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, and Antwerp, Belgium. Interviews, and selections of her art and writing have been included in numerous publications including; Ante Mag, Studio Visit Magazine, The Ruth Stone House podcast, Last Born in the Wilderness, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (forthcoming), the Index Press (forthcoming) Eratio Postmodern, and others. She is an artist member at Amos Eno Gallery, one of the longest continually running non-profit artist collectives in New York, where she has collaborated as an exhibiting artist, curator, and salon coordinator since 2018. She served on its Board from 2019-2021. Jensen also serves on the Advisory Council for the Brodsky Center at PAFA, in Philadelphia, PA.
Jensen earned her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2018, and her BFA from Tyler School of Art in 2008, both in Philadelphia. She has completed over 1000 hours of study in Tantra, feminine form yoga, ayurveda, herbalism, and ecological agriculture, and maintains a personal practice and a student-educator relationship to these teachings. An autodidact, she is always enrolled in courses of her own design and curiosity.
The artist lives and works in Southern Vermont, part of unceded traditional lands of the Western Abenaki Peoples, or Elnu Abenaki. There, she founded and runs a burgeoning artist retreat and residency space with her partner, the artist Owen Schuh. The residency, In Situ Polyculture Commons, is dedicated to foster resilience, community, creativity, regenerative culture and regenerative food cultivation.
She is a dog mom of a rescued cattle-dog mix, Skyebear, and loves to forage for mushrooms, bicycle, play her harp, sing ballads, swim in the creek, and have effusive conversations about many melancholy and inspiring topics.
The artist in her studio, Brattleboro, VT in March 2020. Zoom screenshot.
The artist in a fairy tree, Western Ireland, July 2022. Photo by Rebecca Green.