Jenn Singer Gallery proudly presents Inner Anima, new watercolors on paper by Amy Ross. Holding a Master’s in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Ross combines her love of folklore and mythology, and passion for the natural and divine, to create her hybrid creatures – the morphing of humans, animals, and plants. Though she views herself as more of a mad-scientist than artist in her approach, her delicate, whimsical watercolors sing with calming minimalism. Ross’ sweet, otherworldly song dances across the page luring curious viewers into her magical realm.
Playing with the idea of the inner anima – soul, life, and the feminine principle – Amy Ross is interested in the connection between humans and animals and our common vulnerabilities. Similarly, she explores hypothetical ways flora and fauna can be conflated. The hybrid creatures she paints arise from a blurring of permeable boundaries: those between humans and animals, flora and fauna, hunter and hunted (predator and prey), and the human and spirit worlds. Ross sees her creatures as mediators between worlds.
Foxes, dogs, jaguars, tigers, and wolves regularly appear in Ross’ work and have taken on a totemic role in her life, most significantly, the fox. Ross describes her female figures as vixens that reference the many mythologies surrounding foxes. They are seen as mischievous, cunning tricksters appearing as representations of the spirit world; and they are embodiments of transformation and shape-shifting, wherein people are transformed, voluntarily or not, into animal form.
Well known for her hummingbirds, Amy Ross paints vivid, iridescent plumage that gives way to stems of nectar-bearing blossoms. In these morphed, hybrid creatures – which are both birds and flowers at once – the food seeker and the food source become one.
Both hummingbirds and foxes have a rich supernatural significance in folkloric traditions. They are seen as messengers between the human and spirit worlds, whereby they can transverse and bridge the permeable boundary between these two realms, and Amy Ross’ watercolors help take us along for the ride.