Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Inhabiting Jennifer O'Connell's interiors

Some day we'd like to draw a floor plan of how Jennifer O'Connell's paintings fit together. There's always something around the corner - and sometimes that something is in another painting. We've inspected them closely and have come up with a few different locations, piecing the puzzles together as we can.

Jennifer's paintings remind us of catching a glimpse of a room in a window's reflection at night. There's something familiar about them. In the reflections you think "that looks like a room I'd like to be in"

...and then you realize you are.

(Does that just happen to us?)

While it's fun to get all the facts and spread out the floor plan, it's also fun to spend time in the reflection. Sometimes the pieces themselves are enough.

Jennifer says:
"Obscure, private visions that alienate the mind in daylight, keep a potent mooring within me. Inspired by what the mind conjures, perception is influenced by contemplation. Shadows, objects, and shapes are gateways to memories. Imaginings mingle with perceptions. In dreaming before rooms, I come in contact with transient psychological aspects. Literally and symbolically, the interior space is the self.

"While nudging perception toward visual metaphor, I seek visual surprise. Visual and conceptual depth intersect through a back and forth process of direct observation and separation; reality is the support for suggestion. Under changing conditions, paintings are built up piece by piece, seeking compositional and conceptual resonance. Additively and subtractively, alternate descriptions are explored through the medium. Manifestations of human presences emerge; fragments of the many moments which build a painting. Through visual search and variety in application, the objects are surpassed as symbols and temporal evidence remains. "

Jennifer O’Connell earned an MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of New Hampshire and a BFA from SUNY Plattsburgh. Additionally, she studied fine art at the University College Chester in England on a Giltz Family Travel Award. After receiving her MFA, she was invited to show in the "Young Talent" exhibition in Washington Depot, CT. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous awards including an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Fellowship and a Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency Grant. She has led public lectures and participated in panel discussions around the Northeast. Her exhibition record includes national and international shows at Fraser Gallery in Washington, DC and the Bowery Gallery in New York. In 2008, she was selected by juror Cynthia Reeves for the New England / New Talent Exhibition at the Fitchburg Art Museum in Fitchburg, MA. Galleries that represent her include Adam Cave Fine Art in Raleigh, NC, the Oxbow Gallery in Northampton, MA, Three Graces Gallery in Portsmouth, NH, and Gallery Wright in Wilmington, VT. In addition, Jennifer O’Connell spent time as an adjunct drawing instructor at the University of New Hampshire.

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