It was the first time for me to visit New Zealand.
I was there since Chuseok break until October 15th, visiting Gallery De Novo, an art gallery located in Dunedin, on October 13th. As I entered the exhibition, a fascinating artwork caught my eye, simultaneously inspiring me. It was a 95cm x 120cm sized painting done by an artist called Jennie De Groot, a female fine artist. She collaborated with a glassmaker, Di Tocker, which made the painting to look more interesting.
Paintings and glasses were in a perfect harmony, creating diverse moods. The painting itself has an extremely dark, serious mood. Although some bright and shimmering colors were used, they rather backed up the mood.Overall, the painting reminded me of an animation character called Jack Frost, the main character in Rise of the Guardians. He was reborn as an immortal supernatural after saving his sister’s life by sacrificing himself. He suffered for a long time because of the Man in the Moon, who created him, never answered his questions about who he was or why he was created. On top of that, no human was able to see him for centuries since immortals can only be recognized by someone who believes him. Just by looking at his appearance and behaviors, he looked like a mischievous boy without any concerns or misery.
No one knew he has a hidden pain growing inside of him for hundreds of years. As I gazed at the painting, I felt the depression that Jack Frost did, feeling as if I was sinking into the limbo of oblivion. The word ‘untethered’ reminded me of a vigorous bird flying during a sunrise, which has a completely different mood from what I imagined. I wondered how the artist got inspired and what she wanted to represent.I also paid attention to the value and volume of the artwork. Oil paint contributed to this beautiful effect, creating different thicknesses on the surface of the canvas by layering paintings over and over. I guess Jennie De Groot tried to express the dark mood of the painting using the technique.
However, I figured out that not every single part of the artwork isn’t covered by thick paint. The bottom part of the painting is blurry and unclear compared to the upper part. Several vertical traces at the bottom is showing that a diluted paint stream ran down the canvas. It gave me an idea that the artworks’ mood can change depending on medium and thickness of paint. I often use watercolors instead of thick paints like oil or acrylic, and I realized that watercolors can’t make solid layers like them. I suddenly had a light bulb going on. Even though layers can’t be stacked, the heavy feelings they give are similar.
Colors will get murkier as translucence paints are getting overlapped. This useful technique will be used often in my drawings. This painting gave me various ideas and inspiration. It also made me think about myself and emotions I feel when I get depressed and sad. The most impressive and memorable part of this artwork is the incompatible mood of the title and the painting. It was one of the factors that made me fall into and question about this artwork. I highly appreciate the artist and the artwork.