Repo/possession is a visual prayer book and altar, as well as the first piece within the series Repo. Dealing with the trailer my family abandoned a decade ago when it became uninhabitable, this project serves as a vehicle for conjuring the lived and living memories of the space.
I overlay vellum onto toned mixed media paper to produce two individual drawings that also forge a ghostly connection. Playing with temporality, presence, and “objective” reality, these drawings touch on child’s memory and matrilineal curses. They are transformed within a ritual context, the materialization of the drawn objects on the altar becoming offerings and ancestral objects.
The poems of this work explore and expand the quasi-prayers that a generally non-religious poor family stumbles upon in everyday use, such as “Lord, let this day be done.” Bound in leather, the prayer book is lent a material permanence often withheld from poor families. The ending of each prayer is drawn by “Dreams be sweet,” an utterance that urges sleeping fantasies be sweet should the waking reality be bitter.
Repo/possession. Leather, ink, charcoal, vellum, toned paper. 9”x12”.
Jamie Seney constructs an artist’s book “Repo/possession” staged on an altar-like installation to address the emotion and psychology associated with rural poverty based on their childhood memories of living in a trailer. A dry chrysanthemum, a crumpled cigarette box, spiders on their fragile web; these overlooked daily objects are drawn with a unique sensitivity on interleaved vellum and toned paper, along with lines from poems. The thoughtfully sequenced overlapping of images and texts evokes fleeting moments of life, bitter or sweet.
Jamie Seney is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in drawing and video art. Their work investigates the dynamics of rural poverty through their own experiences in Helena, Montana, and Omaha, Nebraska. Especially interested in the quotidian subtleties of poverty during childhood, the “if you know you know” moments, Jamie works to put a spotlight on these overlooked facets.
Following graduation, Jamie will be continuing the series Repo, further exploring the possibilities, ritual and otherwise, of repossession imagined beyond landlordship.