Joy Arden has long been fascinated by urban wastelands, demolished buildings, weathered surfaces, archaeological excavations and construction sites. A sense of place, the passage of time as well as the traces left by human activity in the environment form a focus for the work. The paintings are characterised by an atmospheric use of muted ochres, chalky greys/whites and deep earth colours.
The process she engages in begins with sketchbook drawings carried out at a site of interest. These are a response to what she sees rather than drawings of record, so the drawings can take on a life of their own in the moment of their execution. The studio paintings are begun with the memory of the experience of the place or objects. They are a free interpretation of the subject, where colours or shapes are ‘discovered’ or revealed during a process of applying paint and scraping back, until there is a tension and a sense of something seen or experienced.