Joy Arden has long been fascinated by urban wastelands, demolished buildings, weathered surfaces, archaeological excavations and construction sites. It is the sense of place, the passage of time as well as the traces left by human activity in the environment forms 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.
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