JENNIE DE GROOT
Born in England and educated in South Africa, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Archaeology was Jennie’s introduction to the narrative in the landscape. Jennie’s paintings occupy a space where reality, imagination and memory all hold equal tenancy. Her interest in memory or what passes for memory is synthesised in her work as trace in the landscape. These psychological landscapes hold the tension between realism and abstraction, place, and non-place.
Jennie agrees with Diane Arbus’s statement, “It’s what I have never seen before that I recognise”. The tension between representation and abstraction is as much a player in her works as the subject depicted.
Jennie has recently completed a Master of Visual Arts degree with the aim to broaden her type of painting practice that extends beyond landscape painting to include specifics that offer more rigour to her practice. The introduction of the figure and urban spaces has facilitated opportunity to build meaning in the work.
Her status as immigrant informs her work, exploring themes of identity and adaptation. The loss of the familiar vies with the excitement of new opportunities, linking them through the vehicle of painting. A keen observer of contemporary issues, Jennie weaves narratives around these issues from the perspective of Generation X. The image is recognisably familiar to be comforting but different in a way that keeps the viewer interest and invested in establishing a personal understanding.
The painting process has to be fresh and interesting to for her own pleasure: She favour oils, builds up layers, scales surfaces, moves paint around and uses her tools creatively to make marks that remain in the finished painting. She suggests both the unknown and the known in the atmosphere, the emphasis on suggestion.