• Abigail Jendrusch, Ungodly (installation shot), 2019
  • Abigail Jendrusch, On The Outside Looking In, porcelain, 2019
  • Abigail Jendrusch, Vases (Group Shot), porcelain, 2019
  • Abigail Jendrusch, Mini vases (Rainbow Custer). Vases, porcelain, 2019
  • Abigail Jendrusch, Ungodly (installation shot), 2019

In my work, a series of both functional and non-functional pieces in porcelain, I combine gothic and nightmarish imagery with lively vessel forms and enticing stained-glass-like colors. My aesthetics take influence from the historic art and architecture of Catholicism and the vibrant religious tradition of Carnival. The work is as much an homage to the art and traditions that grew out of Catholicism as it is a commentary on my own disillusionment with the Church.

The intent of Gothic cathedral architecture was to be uplifting, illuminating, and awe-inspiring through its use of light and elaborately decorated surfaces. At the same time, the buildings were meant to dwarf and intimidate the viewer, being showcases of the wealth and power of the Church. My work echoes the beauty of this art as well as the darker sides of excess, exclusion, and greed present in religious power structures. I embellish my pieces to make them appear fragile and impractical, making the viewer afraid to touch them.

My other source of inspiration, the pre-Lenten festival of Carnival, was a time for intermingling of all social classes, abandonment of societal and moral conventions, and poking fun at those in power. In addition to this satirical element, the Carnival aesthetic is about opulence, frivolity, and celebrating a sort of beauty in the grotesque. In my work I combine solemn religious forms with clowns, jesters, and masqueraders in order to capture the many-layered essence of Carnival, with its combination of light and darkness, virtue and sin, and beauty and the bizarre.