British artist Jemimah Patterson works hover between two and three-dimensional disciplines engaging with narrative and memory and drawing from symbolism and surrealism in her practice. Patterson’s work is heavily influenced through being one of a conjoined set of identical twins who were surgically separated at birth.
Patterson’s twinning creates resonant psychological dimensions that are reflected in her compositions, paired or mirrored motifs often recur throughout her work, sometimes creating surrogate double portraits. Her magnetic attraction to doubled imagery emerges in her manipulation of shadows and mirrors. The reflective surfaces of both glass and mirror for her chosen medium allow her to explore these ideas of duplicity and identity further.
With a nod to the Surrealist movement, Patterson takes everday objects such as boxes or cabinets and makes her own ‘assisted readymades’. She collects old canvases and cabinets, prizing them for their interesting backs or internal spaces. Patterson likes the fact these come with their own unique histories that relate to a previous existence. Recalling Duchamp: ‘it is the onlookers who make the pictures’.
The reverse canvas paintings feature isolated, domestic objects: a floating chair and floating games pieces, painted on glass and laid on to the back of the canvases. The fact that the chairs are floating suggests they have transcended their normal function and gained a sentimental, even spiritual dimension. Chairs become metaphors for people.
Jemimah Patterson has recently moved from London and now lives and works in Biddenden, Kent. She studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design in London between 1997 and 1998 and completed her BA (Hons) at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art at the University of Oxford from 1998 to 2001. Jemimah’s works can be found in private collections all over the world including most notably Her Royal Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan & Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Dorchester Hotel, London.