Adrift 2018, Edition 1/3, Pigment Ink on Cotton Rag, Image size 34 x 12cm, Canvas size 38 x 18cm


1. a continuous whole, quantity, or series; thing whose parts cannot be separated or separately discerned

Nature. Inspired by the Japanese aesthetic, this collection imbues balance, simplicity, format, compositionand most importantly, respect for nature.

The calm, familiar pattern of my daily rituals living by the sea are translated into art. Response to nature, place, and the slow shift of seasons influence each image. I pause and reflect on the timelessness of nature – the nuanced variations, patterns and repetition replicated on a micro and macro scale. Images of ordered complexity.

‘We are always close to these vast, quiet things. A grey tuft detaches itself in the break up of a great continental bank of cloud. It inches its way across the sky, slowly losing definition. Ten minutes later it is barely recognisable. And shortly after that, it merges with another cloud and its brief individual career is over. Islands of clouds form, make chains, nations, empires, then drift and dissolve – like a peaceful, silent, painless repetition of the turbulent mayhem of human history.’ The Book of Life

Silence and stillness resonate. I work fast and in silence, capturing a moment of time in nature.

Spain. A desire to ‘walk in the footsteps of my ancestors’, initiated travels throughout Spain in 2016. Immersed in its art, architecture, landscape, culture, and language, ancient generational connections of identity were re-established, and since, have unconsciously seeped into the process of making art.

Significant historical edifices of Andalucía, the Cathedral and Royal Palace of Seville, Granada’s Alhambra and the Great Mosque Cathedral of Córdoba, with their mesmerising grandeur, Moorish architectural embellishments and dizzying tile tessellations directly influence work in this series. The explicit impact of these glorious places remains vividly present.

Process. I employ a sequence of art forms to produce my final digital art prints. Works begin with traditional art media. Quick gestural marks on paper using dry pastels and acrylic paint, wash layers then working back into these with stronger mark making with crumbly pastels. Brushstrokes and the materiality of the media form the aesthetic qualities. Works stay true to the initial rapid aesthetic when photographed, digitally manipulated and printed.

The process of digitalisation starts by photographing selected details of interest within the work to “find the image within the image”. The images evolve organically as I experiment with perspective, colour, orientation and saturation. Techniques are a complex interplay between screen-based manipulation of images and their final form as a fine art print. This refined series of processes increases intensity and control. Choices are made with precision to produce highly considered aesthetic qualities and to distill the essence of the image
through harmonic effects in contemporary combinations.

Jen Behrend, artist