alchemy encaustic, mixed media painting

In this recent exhibition, aptly titled “Alchemy”, Jenny Valmadre makes a subtle yet determined shift from the constricting and divergent concerns of a single discipline. With this series of new works she firmly locates herself within the exciting realms of hybridisation. Rather than forgoing her wealth of experience as both a sculptor and ceramicist, Valmadre applies her understanding of three-dimensional materials to the two-dimensional plane. The resulting works are a new narrative. One that speaks of the energy and the materials used by a sculptor, mixed with the pigments and tonal concerns of a painter; finally enriched by the elementary act of drawing.

The artist, alchemist applies her materials to build wondrously thick and lusterous surfaces, which are then harshly abraded to reveal the subtle underlying layers. This process requires a great deal of aggressive, often brutal intervention via the burning and scraping of the surface to expose a delicate, sensitive, yet raw reality.

All of which comes together as a surprisingly subtle, controlled and elegant product. Jenny Valmadre is contemporary, fresh and unpredictable in her approach to painting. Her work is constantly evolving, offering new challenges to both herself and her viewing public.

She is the true alchemist.