Jess Allen’s still lives are meditations. The artist takes that which is overlooked and lovingly scruitinises it, looking at is objectness: its shape, its colour, it’s form. The artist tips the boundary between abstraction and figuration, always being led by the reality of the objects themselves but focusing on the patterns they make: the jagged stacking of book-spines, the geometry of a collection of boxes, the variations of shadow in a paper bag. You will notice, especially in the book paintings, that she omits the titles and words that would make her still lives strictly observational. Allen does not want to bow to typeface, nor the intellectual aggrandisement of a title and an author, but allows the viewer to fill in those details. In this way her work has a quiet, self-assured modesty, being simply what it is- a collection of shapes and colours, which the artist offers up as a reminder to appreciate the inconsequential. The artist casts a soft light on the objects that make up the ordinary, gently whispering: look, aren’t they beautiful?
Kate Reeves Edwards is currently writing her first book 'Abstract Landscape Painting'.
Her website is HTTPS://WWW.CULTURALCAPITALARTS.CO.UK