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JO BARRETT ‘Still Life’

‘Still Life’

Wednesday 02/06/04 – 03/07/04


CLAPHAM ART GALLERY is pleased to present JO BARRETT. Barrett graduated from Bath Spa University College in 2000. Since then she has achieved great success with Clapham Art Gallery in a number of gallery shows and art fair outings. With this most recent collection she has returned to the still life.

Barrett is concerned with reworking traditional genres in a contemporary manner. Her outsized renditions of fruit still lives display a precocious painting technique. Barrett’s subject matter is derived originally from photographing her carefully considered still life constructions. In emphasizing the photographic element, she embraces the potential randomness of varieties in light and tone that might affect her subject. Additionally, she commonly employs a very short depth of field by opening up her aperture settings. Therefore, any direction on and manipulation of the image, whether accidental or predetermined, takes place before the painting process begins.

In this new body of work Barrett’s compositions have moved toward a more classical tradition. Her impeccably painted surfaces take their place in a lineage beginning in Ancient Greece, but recall especially Dutch still-life painting of the 17th century. Her compositions have acquired a gravity and stillness not apparent previously. As the artist states:

‘The paintings have become more classical. I have become more interested in the balance of form and colour. The backgrounds are larger and more monochrome, the colour palette more muted and subtle’.

We are presented with a set of meditative paintings, the effect of which is enhanced by the artist’s decision to use natural light over artificial when initially photographing the subject. This creates a lighter, more airy spatial environment. Attention to the subject is re-enforced by the contrast created between this and the detailed and pure colours employed to depict the fruit itself. Ultimately these paintings generate an uncanny feeling of reflective depth; an atmosphere of quietude and serenity.

Clapham Art Gallery
61 Venn Street
London SW4 0BD

+44 (0)20 7720 0955

Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm



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