Artists Hannah Lamar Simmons of Brooklyn, NY and Rebecca Kinsey of Byron Bay Australia met while fulfilling a residency with the Art Student's League of New York in 2010. Although a wall was originally intended to divide their shared studio space, this wall was never built for the duration of their residency, and so the two artists came to openly share the space. It soon became apparent that despite using distinct methods and materials, Hannah and Rebecca share an underlying mutual concern with storytelling, movement, and process. Whilst working on individual projects, ideas cross-pollinated and their work shifted in increasingly parallel directions. At the end of the residency, the studio was filled with two bodies of work that merged into what the artists now refer to as a passive collaboration. At the conclusion of their time with the Art Student’s League, Hannah and Rebecca decided to expand upon this experience and intentionally collaborate.
As a native of Knoxville Tennessee, Hannah's process and aesthetic are heavily influenced by the folklore and craft traditions of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Her current work is an investigation of the contemporary storytelling process through the manipulation of newspapers. Rebecca is particularly interested in the idea of walking or traveling through space, capturing the everyday as art. Her practice has become a process driven multimedia exploration and currently involves the collision of the handmade mark and digital video.
The two artists come together as paperJAM utilizing elements of video, audio, mixed media, performance, and interactive processes to address the underlying themes of storytelling, movement, and site-specificity. They play on the blurred boundaries between art and everyday life and explore a mutual curiosity with taking art out into the broader community beyond the gallery space, giving audiences and passers-by a chance to participate or engage with, even change their work.
They are also currently closing the gap between cross-continental distances within their studio practice by making art together online and via the post.