Jennifer Koch
2011 - 2012 BFA Thesis
Work completed for my 2012 BFA Thesis.

Animals and people experience primary emotions; they feel fear, anger, disgust, surprise, sadness and happiness. There is a continuous stream of scientific studies to support this evidence that anyone with a pet would not see as news! I am drawn to the emotional lives of animals and stirred by their individual reactions, especially to exploitation. I create work that is conceptually driven by common animal business practices, from the animals’ physical experiences and emotional responses. These are the animals that are commodities and viewed as property or objects instead of living creatures. My work is rooted in years of personal research into the food production industry and from a lifetime of working with animals.

My sculptures are hand built with earthenware clay, then cut and hollowed. I reassemble and finish the piece with attention to the unique details of the form. I convey the emotions felt by the animal in each piece through gesture, facial expression and gaze. I do not aim for realism in surface or form, but for personality and mood. However, the situation behind each piece is very real. My work fosters the recognition that humans and animals share an intensity and range of emotional experiences. Through my work I seek to stimulate our empathic ability and emotional understanding of other animals that coexist among us. My hope is that these sculptures will compel people to evaluate and explore how they engage with other species.