EXHIBITION of FIGURE DRAWING, PAINTING, & SCULPTURE
9-28 APRIL 2022
Caretaker's Cottage | Albert Park | Auckland
Jennifer Mason, Hart Recumbent, 2022.
I found Jennifer Mason's works on view in a group exhibition at the Caretaker's Cottage to be very compelling given the parallels to some of my recent study and works.
I find that the simplicity of her compositions strengthen their subjectivity leaving the narrative open to a wide interpretation .
The totality of natural-raw-organic hues pulls her work into a contemporary setting, whilst simultaneously referencing antiquity.
On closer inspection Mason has begun her works with a very carefully painted form and complexion which is then later sanded and/or scratched quite significantly. I perceive that this technique aids in making the work feel aged, like it is from the past, or perhaps this is her way of achieving a 'sfumato' effect to soften the reading of the final work.
Mason's paintings are framed in white plaster and bound to a panel with hessian, which remains visible as seen below. I really enjoy her use of what-feels-like natural materials with an organic palette to represent the body, in an uncomplicated-terrestrial tone.
I think Mason's work has a tenderness that is evident in her painting of flesh. I find this draws me in to the subjectivity of feminine body and mind which opens up questions around the situation, or the intention of the work.
I like that the nudity of the work is not offensive in anyway. I don't find it to be sexual or awkward, it feels intimate but not embarrassing to look at.
An insight into a woman's life, who is carrying a baby, and seems content in her respite.
I find encouragement and inspiration from Mason's work, given this kind of figurative painting is 'off-kilter within the Auckland art scene', especially seeing it is considered a distinction that seems knowing rather than naive.(1)
Glen Snow, "Naked Now: The New Work of Jennifer Mason,"Eye Contact Magazine, March 8, 2022, https://eyecontactmagazine.com/2022/03/naked-now-the-new-work-of-jennifer-mason