Jefferson Little, "Metered Muse," 2004, kinetic light box.
By Jennifer MacLeod
Humour, visual puns and a slightly sardonic edge are consistent elements in the work of Jefferson Little. “I’ve always done work involving text,” he says, “soothsayings, sound-bites pulled from pop music, a poetic/pop hybrid that’s fun and accessible.” Through his narrative approach, Little draws us into a mini play where we make associations and create our own little drama, like children playing in the sandbox. In his paintings, and now in the constructions he calls “kinetic light boxes,” Little’s visual vocabulary favours toys and characters with a post-WWII appeal. “Play is central to my aesthetic,” he confirms. Neither a preacher nor a technophobe, Little feels that his work taps into a common nostalgia for the simple, romanticized view of future technology represented by post-war era toy rocket ships and airplanes. Little’s playful light boxes, which are activated by the viewer to reveal backlit images, along with a selection of paintings and plexiglass pieces, are on view May 7 to 25, 2004, in a show entitled Metered Muse at Susan Whitney Gallery, Regina.