Companion Plants

Companion Plants is an artist collective of previous peers that grow well together, protect one another, share ideas and questions about art and our futures.

The collective is currently comprised of Jorge Escobar, Hattie Eshleman, Nava Levenson, Zipporah Norton, Sarah Phillips, Cameron Ritcher, Jaynie Rogers, and Ashley Roth.


Projects featured below are from a collaborative group show at Arts Council of the Valley in Harrisonburg, VA in September of 2018.

Hair in my Soup, 2018

Hattie Eshleman and  Zipporah Norton 's  Hair in my Soup, is a correspondence between the two artists that explores notions of the grotesque and nondescript bodily forms with an unapologetic uses of pink.



"Blurp: The absent eyes… as slimy as they are, can not be cleaned solely by a kleenex. But also, we couldn’t try to clean them unless we could find them..
Lumps. Oozes. Slimy things.
Fleshy and-- sentient?
Simply a correspondence among bodies & minds. "

Pushing the Envelope, 2018

Hattie Eshleman and Nava Levenson's correspondence project started in 2017 as an effort to maintain the relations for the two artist after undergrad. What started as a classic postcard to summer camp has developed into an exploration of the boundaries of letter. 


At the intersection of the two artists practices are many influences and themes including podcast fandom, a certain shade teal, experiences as young artists, and much self inspection.

"A postcard, questions about oatmeal, wait- how do I read this? Pull here. Matt Lieber is a letter hidden somewhere in your apartment. Candy cigarettes, decoys, deconstructionist origami. "

Radish Rubbish, 2018

Plaster radishes, created and distributed by Jaynie Rogers, were altered by the other companion planting artists. Once finished the radishes were given back to Jaynie which she added foliage to and installed as a collective garden patch.


Radishes make on of the most versatile companion plants as their pungent flavor repels pests

Must Pickup Today, 2018

Must Pickup Today, is a project that questions when furniture became disposable and responds to the first day of June, July and August in downtown Richmond, VA. notably the neighborhoods surrounding VCU's Monroe Campus. Furniture lines the alleys of neighborhoods like the Fan, Oregon Hill, Carver, and Jackson Ward during the sumner when the vast majority of leases expire. Jaynie Rogers, Jorge Escobar and Nava Levenson photographed each piece of furniture that was in good enough condition to remain in a home and turned them into game-like piece. Small reassembled home spaces explore just how many living space could be close to fully furnished used the discarded pieces. This project explores the commodity of contemporary furniture in our homes and creates spaces of synthetic intimacy. 

People Watching, 2018

People Watching is a collaboration between photographer, Jorge Escobar and mixed media painter, Cameron Ritcher. The imaginary reflects public life around Portland with overlapped tissue and painting.

Hand Wash Only, 2018

Hand Wash Only is a wardrobe of altered clothing that once lived in the closets of Hattie Eshleman and Nava Levenson. The work divides in specific gripes the artists have with feminine clothing as well as sentimentality. The clothing articles are not favorites- altered in a punchy way they become something outside of a standard wardrobe item

And Then I Woke Up//Hypnagogia, 2018

Jorge Escobar and Sarah Phillips collaborated on a collection of imagery and non-imagery pertaining between the varying degrees of sleep and wakefulness, or the period between, known as “Hypnagogia.” Using the cyanotype process, the images were transferred onto pillow case with varying levels of weight.

The Breakfast Journals, 2016 - current

The Breakfast Journals are a 10 volume set of small books that constantly travel between Lynchburg, VA and Chicago, IL. 


These journals are an ongoing collaborative project between Hattie Eshleman and Ashley Roth in which they document their lives, world, and experiences.

Common themes: humor, habit, feminism, ephemera, poetry, collaboration.


Copyright Nava Levenson 2016. All Rights Reserved. Photography by Pinwheel Collective. Photography by Nava Levenson