Montserrat used a pixelated photograph of her unclothed body as a source for many of the paintings. Because there are many layers of mediation, the revelation of skin and focus on her pubic area does not render her body exposed or knowable. Instead, her painted skin is a surface of coded messages and visual play. The vibrant patterns dancing across the body cloak her in motifs that shield and nurture her interiority, while also acting as an interface with the worlds and experiences that have formed her. The repeated symbols draw from an array of religious and African diaspora iconography and the luminosity of the watercolors evoke the stained glass of a chapel—together picturing the body as a site of sacred refuge.
"Navigating the affective ambiguities of bodily consciousness, often through the prism of Afro-diasporic subjectivity, Jade Montserrat’s drawings resist clear-cut interpretation. In them, fragments of the body merge uncomfortably with dreamy landscapes, strewn with motifs that feel symbolic but whose meanings could be multiple and conflicting. The recurring motif of the groin, presented as a frontal, semicartographic outline from waist to thigh, may celebrate female sexuality as a source of strength, and yet combined with such utopianism are more discomfiting references to sexual objectification and bodily dispossession." Ton Denman, Art Review, September 10, 2021