‘Arcadia’, an exhibition of artworks by Janet Stayton
April 22nd to 1st June, 2016.
My works illustrate fragments from life – numbers, words, phrases and idyllic vignettes from nature. Paintings within paintings – frames within frames, classical references as to architecture and arcadian views updated – all encased in contemporary visual language. Each image may represent a word, each word an image, the whole explicates the parts thereof.
Secrets and covert significances are also qualities that fascinate me in paintings; hidden layers of meaning, from pure and painterly meaning to emotional meaning. There could be actual symbols or marks having personal meaning hidden in the painting; a personal symbolism that might be read as universal to the viewer; the secrets known only to the artist unless told to a historian; in which case, personal history and aesthetic history become linked. So even a tree in my paintings may have layers of meaning – many layers, from personal to objective.
I may be inspired by something I see, or read, or by an idea. It may be a visual idea or schema or it may be a colour or image. Sometimes I feel a colour shining behind my eyes ready to illuminate a painting – providing a stimulus to enter the work. I may be inspired by nature or a great masterpiece in a museum – artists inspect and assimilate the art of others – a kind of passive robbery… no work is new… under the sun.