Jennifer Drieu

Fine Art - BA (Hons)

My praxis addresses the position of images as contained spaces with their own rules, where the fabricated representation, or ‘picture’, gains agency through the mediums contemporary and historical context.

My 2-dimensional work often incorporates multiple media including oil and acrylic paint, pencil, pen and ink, collage, and image transfers. In addition, using appropriated, publicly available, and often “poor” (Hito Steyerl, 2009) images in the construction of these artworks, I am forced to address the issue of authority and ownership in the formation and delivery of my work. Through forming new images by way of appropriating existing ones, and through utilising several aesthetics in the delivery of said image, I seek to interrogate the relationships between seemingly opposing notions of art, which in turn, result in unforeseen means in which one concept of art can be viewed through the lens of another.

I believe that recognition and re-thinking of the relationship between reproducibility and contemporary art is the key to better understanding which artworks can be defined as ‘contemporary’ or ‘of value’ within contemporary culture, and contemporary fine art discourse.

Safe Inside III is the third in a series of paintings exploring the child as symbolic of vulnerability in adults. Here, I have collated appropriated imagery to convey a deeply personal representation of my experience of life during the Covid-19 pandemic and re-presented these images to the viewer as a painted image. It was inspired by the first painting in the series: Safe Inside, 2020; its connoted meaning being affected and influenced by the advent of the Coronavirus. I have employed various aesthetics such as cinematic cropping, dramatic lighting, unrealistic perspectives, and juxtaposing scenery to create a semi-fantastical image which draws attention to the surreal nature of contemporary life. Whereas representational self-portraiture can feel narcissistic or self-indulgent - appropriating nameless, unknown subjects from “the darkness of the archive” (Steyerl, 2009, p.4) can be very cathartic, and the decision-making involved brings about introspection.