My guiding philosophy has been that art can inspire us to improve our community and our lives.  Current MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, former industrial designer and renovator of historic homes, I build immersive environments exploring nature, resilience, reclaimed materials, trauma, mental health, and embodied practice.

          Looking outward, I am inspired by the resilience I witness throughout life. Life persists despite the harshest of conditions. Fallen trees reach reach toward the sky with fresh shoots bearing new leaves. Fungi find their place in the process of recycling nutrients. Caterpillars trust process as they hide away in their metamorphic cocoons. Some living creatures rely on oxygen and release carbons, while others absorb carbons and release oxygen. 

         I am passionate about salvaging, and most of my work is built from repurposed objects. By finding a new, dignified purpose for discarded and forgotten objects, I offer hope to people who also feel discarded or forgotten. My goal with found objects is to help us to see how our idiosyncrasies and unique experiences can serve us to to better ourselves and our environment.

         My approach to mental health is trauma-informed. Trauma has undoubtedly touched all areas of life; no living organism is immune. We all experience setbacks, pain, loss, and the various means of coping which grow out of traumatic experiences. This is reality. My roots hold these with my memories and must find peace in the nourishment the present offers. My hands reach forth like fresh shoots seeking sunlight. This is my embodied practice - an acknowledgment that my practice requires balance: grounding, inspiration, and accountability. I am an organism which relies on my environment, and I have the power to shape my environment. 

          My embodied practice explores deeply personal issues which I tread carefully through the exploration of and modification of boundaries in my own life. Many old boundaries exist due to shame, stigma, abuse, and exploitation. New boundaries seek to alleviate shame and stigma while protecting from abuse and exploitation. While respecting my own need for protective boundaries, I offer what I can in order to share the hope I see in an all too often grim environment. 

 

Jules J. Bunch 

(They/Them/Theirs)

Sculpture and Intermedia 

MFA Candidate at the University of Iowa

Artist Statement