phase transition

jenny judge

september 28 - november 23, 2023

ccbc gallery

opening reception
september 28, 2023
ccbc gallery

The term phase transition references a physical shifting of material from one phase to another. Jenny Judge uses this concept to drip wet paint that transitions and solidifies on its downward journey along a thread. It covers objects and creates new forms while the original becomes less recognizable.

“My 91-year-old mother passed away five years ago. It was not without struggle as she battled parkinsonian dementia, and we supported her through moments of loss. Everyday objects became unrecognizable and their function was forgotten, yet at other times they could provoke a lucid story about past events. After her death, I found her button collection which inspired me to investigate sewing paraphernalia as a repository for personal stories and past events.”

The slow-moving paint is a metaphor for time passing. The drips coagulate, harden, freeze in place, and capture moments in time. Judge attaches small objects such as spools of thread, game pieces, and buttons, and the paint drips and covers the objects and preserves them in a new state; it captures shifts in ageing and states of being, and the notion of changing memories over time.

This piece is inspired by Judge’s essay “Transitions”; the materials used are directly linked to the writing of this memoir-based monologue about watching paint drip down a string and cover objects.

“During the second attempt, the paint drips slowly, coaxes me to experiment further. I prepare a lighter thread, red, a leftover piece that was wound onto a wooden spool from the old sewing kit.”

The strings vary from cotton thread to Kevlar to decorative trim, each one reacting differently to the paint as it drips. The paint itself is a sculptural material that varies depending on its viscosity, transparency, opacity and colour concentration. Judge experiments with house paint, acrylic paint and the addition of acrylic mediums. For the first iteration of this installation, she is staying close to neutral colours so the string assemblages disappear and reappear against a white wall, and the shadows cast on the wall have an equal presence.

The 8-10 feet threads that hang in diverse iterations are made with fibre, acrylic paint, kiln-cast glass, dyed plaster and found objects.

Sharp Notions | Essays from the Stitching Life

Edited by Marita Dachsel & Nancy Lee

In conjunction with her exhibition, Jenny Judge will be reading from her contribution published in this collection of personal essays from diverse voices about their relationships to the fibre arts

In this anthology, writers and artists from different backgrounds contemplate their complex relationships with the fibre arts and the intersections of creative practice and identity, technology, memory, climate change, trauma, chronic illness, and disability.

Accompanied by full-colour photographs throughout, these powerful and inspiring essays challenge the traditional view of crafting and examine the role, purpose, joy, and necessity of craft amid the alienation of contemporary life.

The book will be available October 10, 2023. 

jenny judge grew up in Ontario and received a BFA from Queens University.  She holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Minnesota (1992) and works in a variety of materials such as clay, fibre, glass, and focuses on craft-installation.  She lived in New Zealand in 2004 where she was introduced to Kiln-Cast glass, and returned to Canada in 2012 where she now lives in Whistler, BC. Her work has been shown in New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Japan, France, and Canada and included in International Exhibitions such as The Cheongju International Craft Exhibition (Canadian Pavilion, 2009), Ranamok Glass finalist (Australia 2012) ‘Craft and Innovation’ (Canberra, Australia 2016), The Salt Spring National Art Prize (Canada, 2019) and the Korean International Ceramics Biennale (South Korea,2021).


Jenny Judge wishes to acknowledge the support from BC Arts Council through a Professional Development Grant in 2022.