Meet the Artist
More Squirrel than Girl is an attempt to understand the story my body remembers and to reconnect the fragmented relationship between my mind, body, and the natural world. The experiences from my past come together subconsciously and form a disjointed narrative. In step with Southern literature and my personal history, animals are a vehicle for conveying painful stories, and a conduit for a bodily experience outside of social constructs. I, and my body. The gap between the two grew as I was introduced to girlhood. To protect myself, I became smaller, softer, and quieter. I learned, that my body did not belong to me. Through this physical
disconnection, I retreated to an inner world fueled by folktales my family told me.
In Summer 2020, I moved from New York back to my childhood home in Arkansas to excavate memories buried in the landscape and mark them through photography. I sought guidance from artists within the photographic narrative of family and the South. The images of Emmet Gowin, Sally Mann, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard showed me how to push past the familiar and dig deeper to reveal the unseen within the commonplace. Ana Mendieta and Kiki Smith helped me understand the relationship between my body, the natural world, and the animal world.
The act of photographing is much like play, as I trust my body to guide me. My internal world weaves into my external reality creating a fully embodied experience. Image-making is inseparable from my physical form, lived experience, and cultural background. My love of folktales as a child evolved into an education devoted to art history, which informs my work. A backlog of stories and images sit in my subconscious; illuminated manuscripts from the Northern Renaissance in which the background presses up against the foreground, framing and flattening the subject; God speaking through a donkey in the Old Testament; and family stories about spirits, superstitions, and fights over what really lies at the bottom of Beaver Lake. Telling my story through More Squirrel than Girl has allowed me to reconnect with my physical form and to a much larger theme of unity. I am now able to fully experience the pain and pleasures of the body; a swim in a cold lake, a cut on my leg from a stray branch. Beyond my physical experience, More Squirrel than Girl is an exploration of the bonds that can be forged between the human body and the natural world.
Chloe Jones uses photography and collage to understand the relationship between the body, the natural world, and the animal world. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from Georgetown University where she was awarded 1st place for her senior thesis and is currently pursuing her MFA in photography at The University of Hartford. She has worked in the fashion industry for 5 years, where she has honed an understanding of the body, and how it is communicated through contemporary imagery. In Summer 2020, she returned to her childhood home, began excavating memories and marking them with photography. She lives and works between Arkansas and Brooklyn, NY.