Aimee Jones is a visual artist and educator currently working in St. Petersburg, Florida. She earned her MFA and graduate certification in Women and Gender Studies in 2022 at the University of South Florida. She was a finalist for the Carlos Malamud Prize in 2022, has exhibited in Spain and throughout the U.S., and was a participant in the HANNAC Can Borni Residency in Barcelona. She specializes in painting the human figure transformed in both domestic and botanical landscapes while researching feminist theory and invasive plant species. After studying advertising in Texas, she moved to Italy to study under a ceramic artist specializing in Italian tile painting. From there, she moved to Madrid for 3 years to be an educator and has been creating work as a response to her life experiences and research since.
I am a figurative painter whose work explores the topics of identity, feminism, and the female form through the lenses of covid, trauma, and my personal experiences of being a woman. My work explores what it means to no longer be in the eye of the surveyor. Through covered/uncovered figures of women, my work speaks to the topics of mental health, the vulnerability of the bodily experience, power, and the dichotomy between invisibility and hyper-visibility.
I am inspired by the Victorian photography genre “invisible mothers”, fashion magazine pages, botanical forms and patterns, and my own personal experiences. With exposed body parts peeking through the plants and fabrics, I play with the idea of the invisible hiding in plain sight. I explore the connection between women and nature, and their reclamation of space by using invasive plant species and coverings. These plants and patterns serve as a signifier of reclaiming subjectivity and ownership, while also serving as protection and as a shield. Through a seductive and intuitive use of color and pattern, this personal form of documentation helps me grapple with the strange situations the world presents to me while using a deadpan sense of humor.
How does the theme ‘Biosphere’ play a role in your work?
I believe the theme, “Biosphere” aligns with my work because my work touches on the topics of invasive plant species and the human body as landscape. My current body of work represents figures in various states of being covered with exposed body parts peeking through the plants and fabrics. The covering examines the dichotomy between invisibility and hypervisibility and serves as protection and as a shield to the figures. In some, fabrics cover the figures, harkening back to the Victorian photography genre “invisible mothers” and in others, invasive plant species. Invasive plant species are used to discuss women reclaiming their own agency and body just as these plants reclaim the earth. These plants serve as a signifier of reclaiming subjectivity and ownership. With exposed body parts peeking through the plants and fabrics, I play with the idea of the invisible becoming seen, hidden in plain sight.
Nature is a common thread throughout my pieces. The solitary figures are hidden in nature, covered by nature, and sometimes covered by fabrics with nature-inspired designs on them. My choice of plant species is from the local Florida flora including invasive species that inhabit the southern United States. For example, kudzu-the “plant that ate the south”-is the most invasive plant in the Southeast of the United States and grows up to a foot a day. It finds a host tree and creeps up it from all sides, all while feeding on the tree, until eventually, it has entirely covered every inch, every leaf, starving the host tree of light and water in its quest for survival. Along with kudzu, I also work with hydrilla and bamboo because of their invasive, aggressive, and uncontrollable behavior. They are poetically similar to the way that the pandemic completely changed the landscape of our lives. I explore the tradition of tying nature to femininity in art; however, I chose to cover my figures in these invasive plant species to signify them protecting and reclaiming their space, similar to the covered women who exist in the paintings despite attempts to make them invisible with fabrics and plants.