Jami Kunkle

A constant desire to explore neglected ruins leaves me searching for a meaningful existence concealed within the walls of the abandoned buildings that I explore. Each structure with its own character has an untold story, eager to be revealed with relevance. The mysterious feeling of a past presence lingers among the smell of must, decay, and dampness. I find a sense of beauty in the deterioration process and in how nature takes full control; without regard to any prior existence. We have to wonder why a culture such as ours would dispose and completely abandon what perhaps was the core of someone’s existence. Our culture's disposable addiction becomes readily apparent as we discard and choose to ignore the forgotten subtle traces of the past.

In my research, I take everything into consideration involving the spaces I explore, as I have recently been drawn towards abandoned houses while taking the less traveled roads. Through my paintings, I am able to alter the scenes as I portray them visually as they should be. Feeling a need to pay excessive attention to detail, I am able to control the overwhelming emotion that I encounter when I enter my subjects.

The belief that these interiors possess a strong sense of power is especially apparent when an empty chair or couch embodies feelings of once occupied space and are now merely a symbol. These timeless scenes no longer appreciated, fulfill my observations of an atmosphere much neglected. Each painting incorporates an emotional nostalgia with relevant symbols of life. They challenge my audience to interpret for themselves, create their own stories, and appreciate unanswered questions. My mission in exploring the unknown is to create emotion and even discomfort, while inspiring minds to wonder and become a personal part of these distinctive settings.