Approved: 10.02.2013

Joan Ainley

Artist

Approved: 10.02.2013

The work of the artist Joan Ainley includes installations, editions, multiples and unique pieces that are exemplified by their capacity for multi-layered readings. The use of camouflage not to conceal but as an agent to focus attention is a characteristic of her approach. Making connections and linking the past, present and future are central to her concerns. Leitmotifs include peace, pilgrimage, recollection and memory, public and personal. Her installations at Remembrance time have included The Cross of Lorraine, Southwell Minster (2007), 11.11.11 Grimsby Minster (2011), and at La Ligne de demarcation, Descartes, France (2005). Her works are exhibited widely nationally and internationally and are in public and private collections including The Hyman Kreitman Archive Tate Britain, The British Art Library V&A, and The Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Recent juried exhibitions have included The Salon Art Prize, London (2011). She was a selected British representative at Kerameikon, International Postmodern Ceramics Festival, Varazdin, Croatia (2008). 'Ainley's work tends towards the poetic and enigmatic, more obliquely evocative than clearly descriptive. She has a distinct taste for the conjuring of objects that have unique drawing power but which frustrate any attempt at prosaic interpretation.' (Robert Clark, The Guardian, 2010). 'Joan Ainley’s work based on poppies mediates the difficult issues between the ‘heroic’ meanings that have come to be attached to the red poppy and the realities of war.  That she does this without being judgmental or didactic is very impressive.' (Dr Gillian Hugman Perkins, 2014).  'Some reflections on a really magical experience of a couple weeks back.  The Chapter House at Southwell Cathedral in Notts. is an extraordinary piece of architecture and most artists might find it a daunting task to make work for it competing as it were against such stunning carvings from the past.  But Derbyshire based Joan Ainley has risen to the task.  She chose to work within a theme that has previously pre-occupied her, one which others might have shied away from (and incidentally one that has occasioned national comment recently), that of the Remembrance Poppy.  Her series of drawings that occupy each of the Chapter House niches are a profound and meaningful commentary on the way in which this image was both originally chosen and how it has come to be used, both actually and symbolically.  On top of which the series is an object lesson in how rich mark marking can be in the right hands.  Each drawing seemed to provide ample opportunity for resonances to emerge, slowly and powerfully, bringing to mind all kinds of associations.   Overall the setting and the works sensitively chosen as regards scale came together to provide a perfect context in which the viewer is not preached at, nor to…but left to modulate their own thoughts and feelings in a richly arraigned environment.  It was quite a treat.'  (David Manley, Artist & Curator, 2014)

Read more ...

  • Location: Wirksworth, East Midlands
  • Activities: Practice-based research, Exhibitions programme
  • Categories: Book Works, Drawing, Installation, Mixed Media
 
 

News

     

    Biography

    The work of the artist Joan Ainley includes installations, editions, multiples and unique pieces that are exemplified by their capacity for multi-layered readings. The use of camouflage not to conceal but as an agent to focus attention is a characteristic of her approach. Making connections and linking the past, present and future are central to her concerns. Leitmotifs include peace, pilgrimage, recollection and memory, public and personal. Her installations at Remembrance time have included The Cross of Lorraine, Southwell Minster (2007), 11.11.11 Grimsby Minster (2011), and at La Ligne de demarcation, Descartes, France (2005). Her works are exhibited widely nationally and internationally and are in public and private collections including The Hyman Kreitman Archive Tate Britain, The British Art Library V&A, and The Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. Recent juried exhibitions have included The Salon Art Prize, London (2011). She was a selected British representative at Kerameikon, International Postmodern Ceramics Festival, Varazdin, Croatia (2008). 'Ainley's work tends towards the poetic and enigmatic, more obliquely evocative than clearly descriptive. She has a distinct taste for the conjuring of objects that have unique drawing power but which frustrate any attempt at prosaic interpretation.' (Robert Clark, The Guardian, 2010). 'Joan Ainley’s work based on poppies mediates the difficult issues between the ‘heroic’ meanings that have come to be attached to the red poppy and the realities of war.  That she does this without being judgmental or didactic is very impressive.' (Dr Gillian Hugman Perkins, 2014).  'Some reflections on a really magical experience of a couple weeks back.  The Chapter House at Southwell Cathedral in Notts. is an extraordinary piece of architecture and most artists might find it a daunting task to make work for it competing as it were against such stunning carvings from the past.  But Derbyshire based Joan Ainley has risen to the task.  She chose to work within a theme that has previously pre-occupied her, one which others might have shied away from (and incidentally one that has occasioned national comment recently), that of the Remembrance Poppy.  Her series of drawings that occupy each of the Chapter House niches are a profound and meaningful commentary on the way in which this image was both originally chosen and how it has come to be used, both actually and symbolically.  On top of which the series is an object lesson in how rich mark marking can be in the right hands.  Each drawing seemed to provide ample opportunity for resonances to emerge, slowly and powerfully, bringing to mind all kinds of associations.   Overall the setting and the works sensitively chosen as regards scale came together to provide a perfect context in which the viewer is not preached at, nor to…but left to modulate their own thoughts and feelings in a richly arraigned environment.  It was quite a treat.'  (David Manley, Artist & Curator, 2014)

     

    CV & Education

    Solo exhibitions 2012 - 'they fly by night', New Court Gallery, Repton 2010 - The Eye of Time Rewrites History, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington Projects 2013 - Global Drawing (Collaborative pilgrimage project), Various sites worldwide since 2002, Various: Europe, Africa, India, USA etc. Competitions, prizes and awards 2008 - Kerameikon, International Postmodern Ceramics Festival, Varazdin, Croatia Site specific 2007 - Cross of Lorraine, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire 2005 - Ligne de Demarcation, Descartes, Loire Valley, France Other 1999 - Grid Reference:Recorded Delivery (with Rodger Brown), Frankfurt International Book Fair, Frankfurt