In the art world, labels are often more useful to the viewer than to the artist. Nevertheless, I have come to identify myself as a contemporary abstract artist – an umbrella heading that seems to accommodate all of the twists and turns my career has taken without making me feel the least bit hemmed in. By intentionally exploring new mediums, my work continues to evolve and expand. Currently I am working with mulberry paper using a technique called “Joomchi.” While I find myself brimming with ideas, I try to begin each artwork without any preconceived notions. I trust in the discovery process and follow a kind of sensory intuition, letting my hands and eyes guide me, uninhibited by conscious thought. Joomchi is an ideal technique for this type of approach. I bring all of my talent and experience to bear through the mulberry paper – cutting it, shaping it, wetting it, fusing and re-fusing it, changing its character and color, transforming it into sculptural shapes, then finally mounting it on a beeswax surface. Working with my hands is essential. It is my way of thinking without thinking – feeling the paper, scrunching it, and ultimately bringing to life the finished pieces seen here. Through my hands I access the courage to begin each new artwork and the intuition to know when each piece is complete. PJ Bergin Art at the Nexus of Wax and Joomchi
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