Jenni Walker - 'In the Moment'
Wednesday 29 November - Saturday 17 December 2017
Jenni Walker’s new painting series considers the concept of ‘active meditation’. This commonly experienced state of mind is activated when a fully focused mind is engaged with a specific activity such as painting or craft making. Here the perception of time becomes elusive, as it appears to dissolve away only to re-emerge when the mental focus is lost and the ‘meditation’ passes. These new artworks are the end result of the artist’s own experience with this concept.
Meditation and the use of mandala’s have long been associated with improving mental and physical health by promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. In recent times, Mandala-type drawings have been used to encourage people to colour-in as a means to de-stress and be ‘in the moment’.
The purpose of using craft based tools/fabrics as the subject, and painting as the medium, is to encourage a dialogue around these creative practises. The Arts and Crafts can play a role in many aspects of health and wellbeing. The benefits of these activities are that they can be performed by anyone, anywhere and at any given time. They can assist with creating a sense of enjoyment, relaxation, self-satisfaction and achievement. Many creative processes are repetitious by nature and carry a sense of purpose, which further reinforce the positive aspects of engagement. Active participation can also lead to greater social and community involvement.
The visual nature of these new artworks uses circular, square and repetitive imagery inspired by Mandala designs. Here the designs and shapes of haberdashery equipment and fabrics oscillate between recognisable shapes and abstract imagery. The circular forms also reference the role the clock has in experiencing the notion of being ‘in the moment’. Like clocks, these works have a centre point around which the imagery continually circulates. The deliberate choose of hues acknowledges the calming effect of being in this ‘meditative’ state, while the imagery draws active attention and engagement.