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Madeleine Jarvis 


Painting is my primary artistic language, and like a language it has different dialects and ways of communication. Exploring these different visual techniques is core to my practice. I like to think of it as, thinking through the medium, the paint leads me just as much as I guide it. The paintings lay out an autobiographical narrative, working from old photographs that document my family history, all of which were taken on film cameras. The film photographs are evocative of a certain time, but they equally have a timeless quality that speaks of the past. There is something in the act of painting these images, in using marks to express my relationship to the images, which balances between a clinical and honest rendering and an almost idealised reimagining of the past. 

Some paintings I repeat, painting the same image again and again. Each repetition does something different, allowing a depth to the understanding of paint. Pattern is a crucial aspect to my work. Pattern creates volume in the image, it takes on the role of character in the work. 

Communicating through spaces, the places that people inhabit is the core of my practice. The spaces that anticipate human figures and presence through interior and private rendering of domestic environments. The spaces speak of nostalgia, and a longing for moments past. They are portraits without people, and the lack of the person allows the viewer to bring themselves into the painting. There is an uncanniness there, in the viewer's presence in the image. The uncanny is another central aspect to my work, calling upon feelings that are both comforting and disquieting. 

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