6-31 October 2018
Recent visual art by Jenny Longstaff
Painting and photography jostle for my attention when making art. I see them as two separate disciplines though there are common themes in both.
When I paint, the composition is from my imagination and not directly copied from a photograph. I use acrylic paint then detail some areas with coloured pencils and fibre pen. Bold outlines and grids reference my love of stained-glass windows.
When I photograph something, that digital image becomes the starting point for creative experimentation with shapes, colours and arrangements. I use a simple Lumix point-and-shoot camera, manipulating the image with InDesign and Photoshop on a Macintosh laptop computer.
The use of repetition and symmetry in my photographic ‘constructs’ is a recurring feature. This can be traced back to childhood, when I was fascinated by the patterns produced by my favourite toy, a kaleidoscope.
In adult life that appreciation of pattern-making has stayed with me. I can list indigenous art, Celtic and Islamic designs, and William Morris as influences. It is in the natural world that I find my most satisfying connections – the patterns of nature from different locations, plant life and seasonal variations.
Taking photographs is an immediate response to things that capture my attention – part of ‘the art of noticing’. Initially I will be attracted by a colour or an interesting juxtaposition. Later I develop a more considered response, when I use these photographs to depict an altered reality in a strongly design-based manner.
This exhibition reflects my life in southern New Zealand – where I go, what I see, what I think about, and then what I create. I am weaving myself into my environment, exploring entwined relationships of mind, body and spirit with specific places and features.