"Though my objects contain strong visual references, I am more interested in the implied tactile ones; the things that stir in me a compulsion to touch. Beyond other external inspiration lies this basic, primal impulse. I recognize – and act upon – a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. I intend for my pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation. Obvious sexual references, along with an extravagant, fetish-like attention to surface, can arouse a yearning to touch as powerful as the act itself. In this way a parallel can be drawn with pornography -- my first encounter with Playboy, for example, as an 8-year-old. My emotional response, pure and utter fascination, depended upon a compelling desire to experience flesh. When one views such imagery, I would argue that one is, at the very least, thinking about touching - about how it would feel. I want my work to elicit a similar response: "What if I could touch it?"
I am searching for a fresh perspective. I strive to create an object I've never quite seen before - one whose inherent mystery and intrigue quietly insists upon viewer interaction. An object begging to be explored and examined in much the same way a child investigates the world: with wonder, curiosity, and also trepidation. It's very important that the work be challenging. A sense of unease is critical because it encourages the viewer to consider carefully what they are seeing – at what is compelling them. I would like my work to exist not as the ubiquitous "art object", but as something more enigmatic - foreign yet familiar, handmade yet somehow organic. Rather than suggest nature, in my own way I am seeking to create it."
Briggs, Jason born in Wausau, WI, received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1995 and his MFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. After a summer at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, he spent 3 years serving as Artist in Residence at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, TN. In 2008 Jason delivered an Emerging Artist lecture at the NCECA conference, and was soon invited as a visiting artist to The Taiwan National University of Art in Taipei, as well as several universities stateside. He received a Virginia Groot Foundation Fellowship in 2007 and a Tennessee Arts Commission Grant in 2006. Last year Jason was featured in Ceramics Art & Perception (issue #79--"Not So Private Parts"). His work has recently been included in "Corporeal Manifestations" at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, "The Hermaphrodites" at the Wexler Gallery, and "Transcending The Figure" in Athens, OH. Briggs maintains a private studio in Watertown, TN, where he lives with his wife Meagan and son Elias, while also teaching two nights a week at Belmont University, Nashville, TN.
"I recognize and act upon a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. I intend for my pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation."