Pictured: Cj Jilek, Systematic Erosion (detail).
On View:September 9–December 17, 2023
Opening Reception:September 9, 2023, 4–6 PM
Artist Talk:November 11, 2023, 12-1 PM

Systematic Erosion is a visual art exhibition of ceramic and mixed media sculpture addressing social justice for women. The exhibition explores the erosion of women’s rights locally, nationally, and internationally.  While highlighting women’s rights, the exhibition also has undertones of environmentalism.  

Jilek explains, “By using botanical forms as a metaphor for women, I will be addressing topics such as the changes in women’s health care and other human rights that are withheld from women around the world. I will be speaking to how laws made to protect women are often imprisoning them in social constraints. The natural and botanical imagery lead to questions about what it takes to nurture and sustain life, and the lines we need to draw between sustaining life, human rights, the environment, and our society.”

Systematic Erosion will be on view in the Igal & Diane Silber Vault Gallery September 9–December 17, 2023.

Artist Statement

Inspired by the sensuality of the natural world, I appropriate botanical forms with their openly displayed reproductive elements as a metaphor for human sexuality. By creating abstracted flower blooms with layers of detail, my intentions are to inspire the viewer to explore the work in the same way one explores nature. Eliminating the presence of stems, leaves, and roots removes the physical context of the plants allowing the viewer to focus on the form specifically in terms of its sexuality. The exaggerated forms of the stamens and pistils create a visual language making direct correlations between the botanical forms and characteristics of the human body. These biomorphic forms are designed to lead the viewer to a subconscious association between nature and the human instinct of attraction. Through my work I’m questioning ideas of beauty, eroticism, gender, adaptation, acceptance, attraction, and desire.

Cj Jilek

About the Artist

Cj Jilek, a studio artist and educator with an extensive exhibition record, has worked in the ceramics field for over 25 years. A faculty member at CSUSB, Mt Sac, and Chaffey colleges in CA, she holds an MFA from Utah State. Cj has taught workshops in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the U.S. Her ceramics journey includes wood fire utilitarian wares to mid-range biomorphic sculpture. The natural environment inspires Jilek and informs her animated sculptures and signature surfaces.

Learn more about Jilek on her website.
This project is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

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