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Jesse Wilson
Safe Haven

through March 2024

Axle Contemporary Mobile Artspace


Winter's hold feels long. We are in the thick of it.  We gather with more intention, and we contract. The warmth we feel from each other is different in the cold. It sustains the spirit, it holds us longer. A bowl of hot soup, or a cup of tea, provides necessary heat as much as a moment's pleasure. This installation is inspired by that feeling of comfort and safety, however you get there.

Safe Haven is a temperate cave, warmed by the Earth. Inside an Ogre finds shelter from the cold. Inside the Ogre’s belly is our cave. We built a fort in there for telling secrets through shadow puppets. There are wood stoves all around us, rugs and blankets on the floor, and every fantastical and imaginary friend that we ever knew. Random pop-ins from dear friends, alive or dead, are common. It’s a regular dance party. There are belly laughs. We cook, make art, and music all the time. Sometimes we wear clothes, but they’re silly costumes. We dream in a giant pile while being lulled to sleep by the swirling mass of cave slugs that harmoniously live overhead. Inside this belly we are warm, we are safe, we are ok. Good vibes only, anyone is welcome.


Jesse Wilson is an artist, builder, storyteller, and performer. Her installation work originated in San Francisco in 2008, with a group of artists called C.I.T. (Cardboard Institute for Technology). Their works were featured in museums including The Exploratorium of Science in San Francisco and the San Jose Discovery Museum.

Jesse’s work as an artist is prolific. Her foundational practice is storytelling. Jesse works with many different mediums to create experiences. Vibrant color and zany science fiction realism, along with comedy, and deep observations of nature inspire the content of her work. Projects have been brought to life in the construction of stages and theaters, TV shows, plays, immersive art, and musical performance; all of which have an important connecting theme of intimate audience experience. Her most recent projects are on permanent display at The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, and Meow Wolf’s OmegaMart in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jesse is the Owner/Operator of Skull Island Art and Fabrication.  She currently resides in rural Northern New Mexico, amongst the wind and the golden grass, tucked in some pines.

Safe Haven is constructed with cardboard, paper, and hot glue.

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