Join us on Instagram Live Tuesday 16th August at 6pm to hear Jennifer Mason discuss her work and this exhibition with Dr. Erin Griffey, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Auckland.
Jennifer Mason paints exclusively female nudes using traditional oil painting techniques, building up the figure with multiple layers that are finished with a glaze, they are technically refined and typically fall within a narrow range of tone. Paint application is influenced by having first learnt water-colour painting, paint is thinly applied and translucent, revealing the scratched gesso layers beneath.
On first impression they appear Neo-Classical but on closer inspection subtly sit outside that classification. Their complicated intersecting narratives are influenced by her Catholic upbringing in which art and ritual featured daily as well as her training to be a professional ballet dancer from ages 4 to 16. Her recent areas of research are a collision between the narratives of Mary Magdalene and Jane Eyre combined with Greek ideas about depicting the human form, a mix of religious legends, gothic romanticism and classicism.
Although sensual the depictions are not sexual despite their nakedness, the models seem occupied, as though elsewhere, or experiencing something personal. The mood is quiet, soft and reflective. Whilst form, composition and pose are all borrowed from an art historical context and are familiar they are more than just homage, they present a uniquely contemporary point of view.
This is Mason's first solo exhibition with Melanie Roger Gallery.