Hidden Gems is a series of articles inviting curators, artists, collectors and art professionals to highlight some of their favourite work in the Ephimera marketplace. For our third instalment we welcome Jennifer Stelco; a crypto-artist, illustrator, and painter, as well as a founder of MORROW Collective. MORROW Collective, a curated hub for NFT art featuring gallery exhibitions in Cryptovoxels, was founded by Jennifer Stelco and Anna Seaman as a way to bridge the physical fine art world with the new age of NFTs. The following words are written by Jennifer.

I have a solid, unwavering, almost problematic love for art. I love making it, being around it, looking at it and reading about it. Since birthing the concept MORROW Collective, and since joining the NFT space as an artist, I have been living this life non-stop, and it has left me feeling wonderfully overwhelmed with the constant need to dig, dig, dig for undiscovered art and narratives. So imagine my sheer joy when Ephimera approached me to be a guest writer for this feature – I get to select 3 pieces to highlight, which I like to see as “pretend art shopping”, one of my favourite pastimes.

“Equus Among Us” by Roxanne Darling

There are a few elements about this piece that are strikingly personal for me. Firstly I love horses (yes, I’m one of those people), but I’m also a huge fan of femininity and feminism. This piece is a brave self-portrait of a woman showing her true self in a field. The horse in the foreground has a perfectly wind-swept mane that offers biblical-esque modesty to the subject, whilst the other horse bares all. The shadows across the grass offer a time-telling aspect, but aside from that time and space seem completely unimportant. This field could be anywhere. It’s more about the relationship between human and nature. This quote from the artist explains it perfectly: “My work aims to take humans out of their domineering roles to become more harmonious with nature”. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

“Remember” by Jason Contangelo

I see this piece as a celebration of the complexity of nature as a being, with a spirit and a voice. The chosen colours make it impossible to tell the season, or maybe they invent a new one. Indeed, we are all embarking on a new season of the arts, aren’t we? One that was impossible to even imagine a few years ago? This tree reminds me of children’s literature, almost like the view of a place described in an Enid Blyton book. There is movement in the stillness, and such a business to the composition that it is almost abstract by nature. But ultimately, I’m drawn to the piece because it is so, so, so pretty.

“Axis Mundi” by Marcelin

I chose this piece to highlight because I am inexplicably drawn to circles. At first glance I saw this piece as a marble, with reflections and inner depths reflecting their own tiny world. I then saw it as a made-up planet. After that I started looking closer, and saw rocks, cliffs, and landscapes, maybe maps, all collaged together in a monochromatic kaleidoscope. Then I read the description and realised I was completely wrong every time – it’s money. I still can’t see money even when I try quite hard. But when something still speaks to me when I have completely fabricated an incorrect narrative for it, I am besotted by the notion that art, beauty, beliefs, all of it – it’s all open to interpretation, and the value we place on something consequently comes from our own inner monologues. Which has me second guessing every narrative I’ve ever written for any of my own art – does it matter? (Actually, yes. Yes it absolutely does. But still.)

Jennifer Stelco is crypto-artist, illustrator, and painter currently based in Dubai. MORROW Collective works to bridge the long-standing physical fine art world with the new age of NFTs. View their genesis exhibition in Cryptovoxels here.