Jenna John: 2022
Destination: Ballyvaughan, Ireland
During the program [Global Ecologies Studio at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland], I was challenged to reconsider ecology beyond science alone and instead as a relational discipline situated between both human culture and nature. As a dual degree student also studying ecology and evolutionary biology, this new understanding shifted how I understood the world and where art and ecology can meet. This radical shift in perspective was facilitated through intensive reading, art making, and hours of hiking across the Burren’s terraced mountains looking for archeological ruins scattered among orchid meadows, lichen coated limestone, and ancient fossils.
In these experiences, that possessive boiling excitement melted into my bones and became a sizzling transformative energy that lingered long after I returned to Michigan. To this day, my creative work has been fundamentally shaped by this expanded ecological framework. My studies in the Burren laid the foundation for my life long work as an artist where I reckon with my queer identity and human/nature relationships in the Anthropocene through multidisciplinary and research-based approaches to making. In this, I explore where the human and more than human meet in order to find futures beyond crisis full of multi-species flourishing.