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Jessica Castillo-Romero is a fine artist who is fascinated in exploring themes of introspection within her work. Recently she has become interested in exploring introspection in relation to memory and nostalgia. While she is a multidisciplinary artist, Jessica’s present work explores these themes more intensely through the creation of soft sculptures. Her current work-in-progress, titled Am I Projecting Again? explores the way in which reminiscing becomes a different experience the further back you reflect upon. Her work specifically draws upon the five stages of her own life: baby, child, preteen, teenager and young adult. Her soft sculptures will take the shape of various bottles one finds in their shower (i.e. shampoo, conditioner, body wash) linking the experience of reflection to the state of thoughtfulness one tends to enter while taking a shower.

Artist Statement

The Am I Projecting Again? series links bathroom products to the introspective experience of showering. Though shampoo and conditioner bottles, for example, hold little emotional weight in the process of reflection, they are used as a canvas to project my personal memories and feelings onto. My memories become interwoven through my recollection of them, warped into feelings and glimpses of moments I’ve already lived through. I think of myself as a child talking to my friends at recess as I think of myself in high school constantly reading any book I could get my hands on. The threads that tie these incredibly different periods of time together call out to me. Threads only I can see and fully understand, because they are symbols I have developed when thinking of distinct feelings and they are metaphors I have rewritten over and over in an attempt to understand what I’m thinking.

The change and growth that has occurred in one major phase of my life to the next almost makes the past versions of myself unrecognizable. But old feelings can still be so strong, that for a moment I remember how it felt scandalous to be awake at 12:00 a.m. and how pitch black 9:00 p.m. felt. In that sense, I see my past stitch itself together to bring me to who I am today.