Jennifer Gardiner is one of our contributing artists. We caught up with her about her artmaking and current exhibition – Moments Observed.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Jennifer Gardiner, I am an artist, teacher and seek to be a mentor. Currently I am employed as a Visual Arts teacher at Wycliffe Christian School in the lower Blue Mountains of NSW.
I work with paint (watercolour and oils), printmaking (monoprinting, lino, rust, collagraph and etching. I also include cyanotype as a printing form), drawing in pastels, charcoal and pencil. I make handmade paper, collage and weave, create artist books and small scale sculptures. My delight is in the process of creating and the serendipity of what can happen.
Why do you do what you do?
God has given me eyes and a delight to create and enjoy art on many levels. I flourish in a creative environment, experiencing joy when others enjoy being creative. I look to see the grace and glory of God in value, colour, line, texture, pattern, shape and form.
What’s central to your work as an artist?
As an artist my focus is often in the detail and form of things around me. I love the landscape and incredible world God places before us and never tire of noticing his handiwork. As an artist I don’t see myself as projecting one way of seeing. If through encountering my art others look at the world through new fresh eyes or question deeper issues of life then that is wonderful. My focus has become very much about sharing with others and encouraging them to be creative along side my own artmaking practice.
Over time I return to similar themes and have worried less about where my own art sits within the wider artworld. I still feel insecure and unworthy but at the same time seek to be true to the words of Philippians 4:8.
Moments Observed is Jennifer’s current exhibition held that the Braemar Gallery, Springwood. Her exhibition is a beautiful example of faith expressed creatively and visually.
Jennifer’s Exhibition artist’s statement:
As a visual artist I experience my environment through, not only my eyes, but all my senses. I love to play with details and collect ephemera. On a personal level creating art is my act of worship, experiencing the grace and glory of God.
In my work for this exhibition, I was influenced by bush renewal after fire, as well as personal memories and history represented in vintage books, old doilies, and sheet music. When I observe destruction or decay in the world, I also see beauty. Artist and writer Makoto Fujimura wrote: “Beauty is a gratuitous gift of the creator God; it finds its source and its purpose in God’s character. God, out of his gratuitous love, created a world he did not need because he is an artist.”
Along with seeking to portray the beauty of our Blue Mountains landscape, my desire is to
encourage you, the viewer, to look carefully at all the detail in the landscape we see every day, as painter Degas said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”.