M Tech Fine Art: Jenny Pomeroy.
Fairest of Them All
Oil on canvas
180 x 127 cm.
Jenny Pomeroy is an expressive portrait painter who employs photographic source material as the starting point in her painting process. She explores the translations and manifestations of trace and index of mark on the painting’s surface and the transcendence of the painting from its original photographic source image in her body of portrait paintings.
There is a fine line between resemblance and abstraction in my portrait paintings. While it is my intention to capture a certain degree of likeness in my portraits, I do not attempt to paint realistic or naturalistic portraits, but, rather, spontaneous studies that capture a phenomenological ‘something’ about my subjects.
My expressive layers of paint on the canvas consequently become the substitutes for the external layers of skin on my subjects. These painterly ‘skins’ reveal something about a subject’s essence and being, unlike the anatomical, dermal layers that cover the body, and which do not reveal anything about the individual’s personality.
Painterliness is a tool or vehicle in my painting process of revealing and concealing relational aesthetics and identity as an attempt to balance the slippery area between outward appearance and inner personality.
|David Paton. Supervisor, Visual Arts.|
There are some paintings in my oeuvre where the portrait does not act as a vehicle for representation in terms of likeness at all, and the subjects are unrecognisable in terms of iconic resemblance, but my perception of their personhood is revealed through the use of colour or mark, and shapes or forms serve as inspiration for free exploration of materiality and substance on the canvas. Painting for me is a way of thinking: I think through painting as an active way of problem solving and doing.
|Head of Visual Arts, |
through the catalogue.
I only work from source images (which I have either taken myself or have downloaded from social media sites) of people that I know intimately – family members, and close friends. Thus the physical presence of the subject in my portraits, which requires a personal relationship with my subjects, is essential, and subjectivity and perception of both the exterior and the interior of my subjects are key in my portraits.
My paintings are primarily concerned with materiality, colour, and mark, and, as a result, the way in which I paint my subjects is just as important as the subjects themselves. In this light, my practice goes beyond trying to capture the likeness of a subject, and often moves towards encapsulating what I consider to be the essence, or being, of a character.
I physically translate a glimpse of certain perceived aspects of my subject’s corporeal and essential personhood from my personal point of view. The essence of my subjects is shown through material and substance, and through revealing and hiding true relational elements.
The exhibition runs until
31 October 2014.