Jessie Van der Laan


Jessie Van der Laan



Artist Statement

My current work views the world through the lens of a parent, simultaneously embracing joy, frustration, hope and fear. My work has always engaged in the liminal states of consciousness, through examinations of precipices, seams, folds, and crevices. In this new work, figurative elements of hands: my own and my children’s, become further lenses for exhuberence or despair. In some cases the hands obscure, and in others highlight. Both experiences are true, useful, and not mutually exclusive. I often feel that my arms are my most precious resource. They allow me to hold hands across parking lots, to carry bags, to prepare meals, to wash dishes, to gesture when I am intensely speaking, to draw, to write, and they are often full. 

Precarious balance has always been at the crux of my work, and never has it seemed more true to my lived experience than as an artist and mother. The imagery included with the arms and hands continues to reflect the landscape, as I am habitually drawn to rock formations and fields of flowers. I connect this imagery to the world we inhabit, are desperate to protect, and which holds the history of generations. Through this work, I hope to examine and share the experience of motherhood, in all that is devastating, and all that is jubilant. 



“Jessie Van der Laan,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 15, 2024,

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