Friday, July 17, 2020

Darla Jackson Explores Human Emotions Through Her Bizarre Sculptures

Darla Jackson is a sculptor based in Philadelphia. In 2003, she received a degree in BFA in Sculpture from Moore College of Art. After receiving her degree, she worked at Kitchen Sink Fabrications which gave her an opportunity to learn about clay, and the mold and cast making. She received a John S. and James L. Knight Arts Challenge Grant which led her to start the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, a community based sculpture studio.

Through the familiar form of animals, use of body language and symbolism, she conveys "emotions and ideas in a way that is more approachable for viewers. The end result is familiarity with an oddness that makes it compelling.”

She sculpts her pieces using water-based clay, and afterwards makes a rubber mold of the pieces that are eventually casted in an industrial strength plaster. She paints her sculptures in black with a graphite finish to make them look like more humans than animals. 

“Creating these stand-ins for humans allows viewers to feel empathy for these creatures. It also lets them project their own emotions onto them.”

Death, sadness and grief are a recurring theme of her work. Through her work she wants to "embrace uncertainty, pick it apart to learn and grow and reassure people that they are not the only ones out there that feel this way. It also helps me to know that I am not the only one out there that feels this way. It is kind of a mutual reassurance, this interaction. Most of all, I’m trying to say that these darker sides of ourselves, these worries and things that haunt us, it’s all part of being human.” via

She has shown her work in several exhibitions as well as galleries and museums such as the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Seraphin Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Woodmere Art Museum, and a Wind Challenge exhibition at the Fleisher Art Memorial.

Jackson currently teaches Figure Modeling at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Animal Sculpture at the Fleisher Art Memorial and Mixed Media Sculpture at Stockton University.


Barbara said...

en effet c'est pas forcément très gai... ! mais c'est intéressant et bien fait