Jaydan Moore comes from a long line of California tombstone carvers, which might explain his obsession with the concept of commemoration. “The trade goes back four generations,” says the Virginia artist. “I grew up watching people make accommodations for loved ones, and turn their history into an object.” About six years ago, Moore began collecting silver-plated tableware to use as a raw material for intricate sculptures. By reshaping these culturally loaded objects, he turned them into vessels for his ideas about memory and material culture. In a new solo exhibition at form & concept, Moore manipulates scrap metal from previous artistic experiments to flip his conceptual universe on its head. “What are the stages of forgetting?” he asks. Dust opens on Friday, June 29 from 5 to 7 pm, with an artist talk on Saturday, June 30 from 2 to 3 pm.
Dust features sculptures made from the glittering shards that landed on Moore’s cutting room floor. In his past work, the artist has taken pains to leave the flawed surfaces of the tableware relatively untouched. “In this series, I’m letting my own personal narrative of how I connect with the material be much more a part of what the viewer sees, or how I talk about it,” Moore says. “My fingerprints are now becoming patina marks on all of this.” The exhibition also includes a new series of intaglio prints that show intricate tableware patterns fading away. Despite his recent meditations on memory’s decay, Moore can’t fully shake his earlier idea of objects as reliquaries of experience. “The child from the tombstone family believes that there is still this memory in there,” Moore says. “We wouldn’t still be talking about how much objects have a hold on us unless there was something deeply invested in it.”
Jaydan Moore was born into a family of fourth generation tombstone makers in California. Most of his childhood was largely spent at the family business, which doubled as a rental storage space; where he would rummage through other peoples’ objects, and listen to families making arrangements for their loved ones. It is these experiences that made him value the heirlooms and objects we choose to use as markers for significant moments.
Moore’s career began as an undergraduate student at California College of the Arts, in Oakland and received his MFA and MA from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently an adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University (VA).
Moore has furthered his career through generous opportunities as an artist in residence at Penland School of Crafts, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and a Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth Universities Craft/Material Studies Program. He has received grants through the American Craft Councils Emerging Voices Program, North Carolina Arts Fellowship, and the Peter S. Reed Foundation. He has shown in recent exhibitions at Design/Miami (FL), Basel (SWI), Cheongju Craft Biennale (South Korea), Museum of Craft and Design (CA), Racine Art Museum (WI), Fuller Craft Museum (MA), and the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design (NC). He has also held teaching appointments at Rhode Island School of Design, Virginia Commonwealth University in the Craft Materials Studies Program, California College of the Arts, and Penland School of Crafts.