Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

New Work for the MA Show 02.09.11-08.09.11

For the final show, I have been making a series of works on the changing topography of the Earth.  These topographical changes can either be manmade or due to a natural disaster or event, such as floods, and climate change.

I have been experimenting with different fomats for the show.  I believe that in order for a show to be successful, it needs to have variety and surprise to make it interesting for viewers.  Viewers need to feel captivated and intrigued.

My last piece, River Hirose [above], used egg tempera on boards to take a temporal narrative and give it weight.  The quality of the boards make the pieces look hard and solid like stone, making the work look weighty and timeless.

I wanted to play with this idea further and enhance the sculptural quality of my works.  To do this I have doubled the depth of my boards from 4cm to 8cm to bring them out further from the walls.  I want them to have a physicality about them which imposes on the viewer.  There are three of these boards which make one piece and convey three steps in time.

I have also created an archive with twelve smaller boards [36 x 36 cm] which have many different narratives from the man-made lakes in Egypt, which are now evaporating due to climate change, melting glaciers in Alaska, and the disappearing Maldives.  I wanted to form a collection of many topographical changes from across the world.  I wanted to chase the media and find current temporal events and disasters which have shaped our landscape.

My third piece, is a 20 cm cube made of wood and treated with the same gesso as my paintings.  I wanted to create a precious object, which although very small and displayed on the floor, is precious because it is small and delicate.  I am planning to exhibit it behind a corner, so that the viewer may even misplace it, and some may stumble across it with surprise.  The imagery is almost of less importance to the substance of it.  The piece is elusive, subtle, and conveys a record of a moment in time: a frozen topography.

Within this space, are three other artists with similar themes as my own to create an interesting dialogue between ecological issues and the formal elements of painting.

In conclusion, my work is about caputring and recording the change in topography.  By showing changes in time, the temporal nature of topography is revealed  The colours remain muted and pale to highlight the transient nature of landscape.  I have used pale hues, almost white, that seem to blend into the gesso background because I want the effect to be subtle.  I want the shapes to appear and disappear as contours and boundaries move.

The three different formats, offer different perspectives on one general subject and within those formats new and more specific issues come to play: ecological, political, and geographical themes.

I want my work to be a form of mediated abstraction.  I believe abstraction is the best format for art which is ecologically charges as it offers the viewer a chance to interpret and reach an opinion for themselves.

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