Jessica Goedeke

My Sweet Pumpkin

My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders. They say, “do what works for you” and “take the road less traveled”. My Sweet Pumpkin is a series of constructed still lifes inspired by their advice.

Each photograph is a strategically composed scene that functions like a dream still conveying a secret message, in other words, an alternate reality providing you with reassurance and symbolic information through the presence of recognizable objects. The eclectic compositions have complex qualities but share the same concept to be different from the norm.Through color and symbolism, the objects come to life as a playful society. The tiny owl is a consistent object interacting with the entire scene. It references my family members who show support on the sidelines. Spiritually, an owl symbolizes finding your true self, directing your goals, and mastering the strength of the unknown. It acts as the silent cheerleader in the distance– a navigator.

We aren’t perfect, but we try to stand out in the crowd to achieve our goals. No one person is the same as who they sit next to. Our decisions lead us to different routes that offer new opportunities or set down obstacles. Occasionally, we tend to hesitate or be afraid, but there are navigators, loved ones, who stand on the sidelines offering support, intelligence, and guidance as we take those next steps. Make your mark on this world, just know someone is right there to catch your fall.