Histories and traditions are passed down in various ways, whether it is through oral traditions or physical means. The oral traditions of folklore, music in the form of folk songs and hand-stitched family quilts are all rich elements that have been layered and altered over time to tell personal and cultural histories. Each reincarnation of these traditions takes on a new life and is modified to represent the changes that have taken place, which happens both intentionally and unintentionally. Each tradition comes from a unique region and has been passed down from generation to generation, and has been shared, picking up and leaving traces of itself along the way.
The role that the hand plays in keeping tradition alive is a common thread in relaying this information from generation to generation. The use of the figure to represent these narratives is a natural step for me. Through manipulation of body language, surface and environment, I am able to capture the emotions tied to these stories with my own two hands. Using inspiration from folk music, folklore, folk art the pursuit of happiness and traveling allows me to create constructed realities that blend both a cultural view and my own perceptions of these myths and traditions. I achieve this by creating installations made of smaller than life, quilted, ceramic figures and animals, reclaimed wood structures, found objects and projected images.
The interaction of handmade earthenware figures along with a hodgepodge of mixed media elements that are found in my work references the relationships that are formed between the cross-cultural histories of these traditions. It is this cross-pollination of details that makes each reincarnation its own entity. Through these interactions, I ask the viewer to question their connection to their own personal histories and those of others.
— Jeffrey Sincich