Born in South Africa and raised in Massachusetts, Jennifer Maestre’s pencil art, filled with intese colors and abstract forms, was inspired by the shapes of sea urchins. The sculptures are formed using hundreds of pencils that have been cut down into 1-inch sections. Afterwards, holes were then drilled into their sides allowing them to be sewn together, much like that of a beaded bracelet.
“My sculptures were originally inspired by the form and function of the sea urchin. The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials. Quantities of industrially manufactured objects are used to create flexible forms reminiscent of the organic shapes of animals and nature. Pencils are common objects, here, these anonymous objects become the structure. There is true a fragility to the sometimes brutal aspect of the sculptures, vulnerability that is belied by the fearsome texture.” - Jennifer Maestre