Jennifer Frank

Into the woods

<em>Rodified Iterations</em>, 2020, wooden dowel rods, twine; dimensions vary.
Rodified Iterations, 2020, wooden dowel rods, twine; dimensions vary.

Artist Jennifer Frank likes to work with scraps of mass-produced objects that she finds while driving around her suburban Maryland neighborhood — especially discarded pieces of wood that she uses in her large-scale installation pieces. “I enjoy taking these industrial materials and looking at what we think of when we see them,” she says, “but also highlighting the beauty of the materials and what they have the potential to be.” In her most recent series, Rodified, Frank ties recycled dowel rods into clusters and hangs them from the ceiling to create a dance of light and shadow.

  • Rodified II, 2020-2021, wooden dowel rods, twine, 108x84x84 in.

Frank’s series will be a part of a group online exhibition at American University this spring. Unable to access her studio space during the pandemic, she took the dowel rods to a forested area near her home. There, she assembled and hung the sculptures from trees to observe how the rods moved in the breeze and the shadows they projected onto the ground. “I also set it up to contrast with the natural wood of the trees,” she says. As Frank worked, people stopped to watch, standing in awe of the light show and natural juxtaposition she had created. “I want viewers to take the time to look at something so basic and then discover it can be extraordinary based on how I present it,” she says.

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Noelani Kirschner is a former assistant editor for the Scholar.


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