Jennifer Trouton is an Irish artist who seems to find inspiration in many of the same mundane spaces and things that I find beautiful as well. In addition to similar subjects, Trouton has also explored many of the same uses of space and surface area that I have been working with. She has several pieces that are composed of a number of gridded panels, as well as diptychs. While the objective of these blog posts is to find artists who inspire us, it's strange to come across someone who has followed a lot of the same paths that I have.
In Trouton's work, "Looking at the Overlooked," she explores the traditional idea of still life in a contemporary way. The piece comprises of 304 small works on board. Text and photographic images appear throughout the piece blending seamlessly with painted images. True to the tradition of still life, the completed works have a strong attention to detail with their subjects referencing the world of the every day life. Trouton says of the work, "unlike my predecessors, I am not interested in that which is stereotypically beautiful. Instead, attention is given to routine spaces and the discarded commonplace objects of our quotidian existence. Images more fitting for the excessively commercial and profligate society we occupy today were commodity replaces commodity with a ceaseless rapidity; respect for and need of tradition and time honoured craftsmanship is negligible."
In addition to her still life paintings of the mundane, much of Trouton's work is also about rural Irish life, traditions and deterioration. She has created many works that address the deteriorated structures and homes in the Irish countryside. These subjects resound with my own attraction to deteriorating buildings and abandoned spaces. There is just something intriguing about the dichotomy of hope and hopelessness in a deteriorating structure.
Trouton also has a series that included diptychs of patterned wallpaper paired with draped fabric that are reminiscent of growing up in the Irish countryside. Although my approach to the space of the canvas is different, these pairings also offer similarities to the bed painting I recently completed. I suppose that is due to her use of two canvases, draped fabric, and dual images to tell her story. My initial idea for the bed painting was a traditional diptych similar to Trouton's approach, I decided to splice the images together and create slightly off-kilter spaces between the images to diminish the feeling of stability in the work. My work can be seen below.
Troutons use of mundane spaces and objects seem to act as a prompt for the viewer to reconsider the subject and thus draws the viewer in to explore not only the image itself, but how it what it reminds them of and how it makes them feel. At the same time her images could feel lonely and desolate - things left behind, or quiet and comforting - reminders of a simpler time.
As I mentioned before, Jennifer Trouton not only works with similar subjects, but also explore the idea of multiple canvases, just as I have. Sometimes she does this by including numerous panels with similar subjects on each, and other times she creates a window from the panels by spreading the image out over the surface of multiple canvases. While I can't honestly say that my work has been influenced by, or inspired by Trouton's work, I can say that it's nice to see that someone has been successful thinking in much the same way as I have, so maybe there is hope!