Jessica views her paintings and installations as an explorative space for understanding an optimistic but often impoverished rural Midwest. By gathering a broad amount of visual information about rural America, she creates visual art works that relate its substance from a personal, interpretive perspective, rather than through an objective documentary structure. For her it is the search for visual components and how she psychologically and emotionally responds to them; through the use of her photography and journaling she is able to cross-reference her memories with collected anonymous rural approximations. Brandl was born Texan and transplanted into Nebraska where she attended Concordia University for Drawing and Painting. She then attended The Kansas City Art Institute to study ceramics and art history earning her BFA. She is currently working on her master thesis at The Ohio State University.
I stand waist-high in a sea of wind rushed crops. As they sway all around me like waves on the ocean, I steady myself attempting to hold on to these last moments of my experience of home. By touch, taste, smell, sight, and sense I know my longing for home. In its absence I’ve discovered that memories of the real place have become more polished than the original experience. Home is transformed into a place in my mind where the boundaries of time overlap creating a collaged experience. I search out interiors of abandoned homes and stand surrounded by the glut of simple cast-off and abandoned objects. Failure in the form of cluttered human debris begins to describe the complex nature of all our lives. Optimism to have things proves to be hollow. As I walk among the caricatures of objects, I often notice soft things—an armchair, blankets, clothing, curtains. I imagine the life and home that should surround them. But there is nothing, only vacant artifacts that have no specific memory or meaning.