Dennis’ practice explores people and place by documenting worn and well-used spaces. Through photographing dilapidated walls, Dennis focuses on the aesthetic of the layered, textured surfaces and through her painting and installation she suggests the urban renewal of city spaces. By doing so she explores our emotional connection to places of shared memory, and the atmosphere created by this hidden and revealed history.
Degradation and the covering, renewal and redecorating of place are themes key to Dennis’ work. She explores these themes in her physical approach to painting, by applying the medium in loose gestural strokes in a way to cover up and renew or to guide the eye around the imagery.
The images of the walls become ‘found’ abstract paintings – in turn, the works become a record of the time that has eroded these surfaces and reveal the domestic, un-fantastic banality of everyday existence. For Dennis there is a poetic profundity to this erosion. Her composition and cropping of photographs, allied to her paintings and sculpture, together expand these ideas using a process of abstracting and reframing imagery.
‘If we can abstract pathogenicity and hygiene from our notion of dirt, we are left with the old definition of dirt as matter out of place.’
Dame Mary Douglas
Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (1966)
Jo Dennis will speak in conversation with art historian and curator, specialising in photography and the moving image, Rodrigo Orrantia and Sid Motion on Wednesday 8th February, at 7pm.
To reserve a place, please RSVP to email@example.com