2010 – Professional – Jennifer Wilkey

Jennifer Wilkey “James”

One of my earliest memories is a night at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. I was in an exam room with my mother and brother. James was only a toddler at the time, and was crying, unable to understand what was happening. The doctors had attached wires to his head in an attempt to force a seizure, hoping to find out what was happening inside his brain. Unfortunately, the seizures never came while we were at the hospital, only while at home.

By tracking James through his everyday processes, I allow his behavior to determine the imagery I create. There are periods of intense focus, observation, and organization when he is by himself, working in his shed or playing with his toy animals. With a skill for remembering, James understands and discerns much of what passes unnoticed.  With a desire to make decisions on his own, James struggles between being an adult and a child, and with our mother in the process. Their continual contact is part of what defines his state of existence. While James is able to do many things on his own, like dress himself and ride a bike, our mother is still responsible for tying his shoes and shaving his face.  Instances of affection, as well as frustration come to the surface. He is a person full of tenderness, intensity, force and determination.