title: Essential Icons
artist: Deirdre Colgan Jones
materials: Found cardboard box containers, primed with black gesso and connected with PVA to form "Supported Screens" embedded with transparent gel filters and ink on mylar inserts.
dimensions: approx. 39" wide x 29" high (customized for home windows)
location: Lakewood Balmoral district, Andersonville, Chicago, Illinois, USA
It's evening in a residential neighborhood of Chicago and as dusk falls, the Icons start to glow. On the left side a red milk gallon container, on the right a blue soap dispenser bottle, both items are essential to the smooth running of this household. As night falls they glow from within, the interior lights filling their silhouettes with primary color. Screens created from other found household containers such as snacks and cereals mask the rest of the interior view. These screens are supported by the window frames in the front street-facing living room. The purple tape lining the installation peeks through the irregular edges of the screens.
Ordinary household containers have taken on special meaning as shopping becomes a rarefied event and essential items are in short supply for the first time in our lifetimes. For my family which has a 7-year old boy, these items are a milk gallon bottle (which we are only allowed to buy one at a time) and hand soap, an item we haven't been able to find lately. The iconic form of these items in the windows echo those of the churches and cathedrals I've seen in Europe where sacred icons are displayed illuminating the darkened streets at night.
Deirdre Colgan Jones is a Chicago artist, trained as an architect. She was born in Dublin where she attended the National College of Art and Design. She received an MFA from the California College of the Arts and a Masters in Architecture from UIC. She identifies as an Artist and Mother and her current home art practice presently revolves around her son's home schooling schedule! Follow her on Instagram: @deirdrecolganjones
More on Deirdre Colgan Jones's practice
Neglected Space forms a structure for my work. My practice is informed by collecting ordinarily discarded objects, and their accumulation makes them primary building material. Having trained as an architect and as an artist, my installations and objects are grounded within existing architectural theory and vocabulary, yet seek to challenge the boundaries of formal practice. Most pieces are determined by their site and are supported by traditional architecture and materials. Together they produce a kind of absurd space. Through my work I seek to question the usual order and hierarchy inherent within our everyday built environment
Window installation: Essential Icons by Deirdre Colgan Jones (click arrow for more images)