‘Jilly Jiggy’, G L Brierly (2009) John Moores Painting Prize 2010 Walker Art Gallery


Upon visiting the John Moores Painting Prize I chose to vote for ‘Jilly Jiggy’ as the people’s choice. I was attracted to it because it is semi-abstract yet reminds me of a 17th-century Dutch still life and has an eerie quality. 

Artist’s statement

This work is one of a series that examines the fetishistic nature of painting and the way it mirrors a private world.

There is a seduction/repulsion dynamic discussed in the writings of the theorist Julia Kristeva. She argues that for a child to separate from the mother, he/she has to see her as abject, which in turn renders the maternal body a site of both repulsion and attraction. This primal repression, she argues, can be displaced onto another object, a fetish. With the work, paint is poured, dripped and allowed to scab and wrinkle in layers. Amidst this unruliness, glazes are used to detail, groom and lovingly cherish the resulting object/subject in its state of becoming. The result is a ‘paint personality’ constructed from inherent alchemical accidents.

With this series there are echoes of the ethnographic artifact. I was thinking also of the newly discovered natural worlds depicted in 17th-century Dutch still life paintings, where ultimately the tulip became a commodity fetish. In my painting there lurks the ghost of the Victorian male collector, perhaps bringing to mind continuing contemporary themes of public/private display and the fetishistic gaze of ownership.

Quote taken from: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/jm2010/exhibitors/brierley.aspx accessed 01.10.10

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