Jaq Belcher’s work explores alternative states of consciousness, raising forms from single sheets of white paper. From a starting point onwards, the practice of mindfulness and concentration has many points at which it can deviate. The focus for her is on the process of reduction and repetition, the manipulation of matter. This can be seen as a practice which allows, or requires, stillness. The process hones concentration and therefore the power of the mind through focus. Belcher’s exploration of this idea began taking a visual direction when she was pondering the beauty of a single expanse of white paper. How can one add to such a simple and beautiful void? So she began to do the opposite, taking away from it by slicing out shapes. The shapes were evocative of the mental process and the repetitive cognition in bringing oneself to focus, and focus, and focus. The intersection of two circles and the point to line to point of simple geometric forms allows for the idea of taking from something as simple as a circle, and not adding to it; again the process of taking from, not adding to. The resulting works are beautifully patterned and complex. They are Belcher’s proclamation, if you will, to the power of silence and the noise in the void. The works testify to the idea of ‘being’ in the moment, the idea of staying in the ‘now’, the ‘present’. Belcher references ideas in eastern and western meditation practices, also spiritual alchemy, and esoteric philosophy.
Jaq Belcher is an Australia-born artist currently living and working in New York City. Belcher’s paper works are created through meticulous and detailed cutting and folding. Her work explores the experience of consciousness and mindfulness in the process of creation.
By cutting and then refolding, Belcher engages in a reductive process, taking away from the white void of the blank paper. The process hones concentration and therefore the power of the mind through focus. These cuts result in beautifully detailed patterns which are as meditative to view as was the process of its creation.
Jaq received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and her Master of Arts Administration from the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts.