Sadness, desire, death, loss and longing… stories of being human in a complex world by Jayne Anita-Smith

Jayne Anita-Smith’s paintings composed of graphite, oils, gesso and acrylic are her attempt to make sense of her own position within contemporary culture’s deluge of desire and temptation. Through her creative process Smith’s paintings start with a series of figurative drawings constructed from sinuous lines of graphite and paint. There is a pathos in these evocative vulnerable characters. Sadness, desire, death, loss and longing can be identified in her compositions, clusters and isolated characters.

Using structural element such as blocks, columns and orbs in conjunction with architectural elements that ground Smith’s large birchwood panel diptych Fools Paradise. Painted in oils a floating dreamscape of deep/yellow red sits enclosed by a viridian envelope incorporating Smith’s various techniques that make up her textural language in this impactful painting reminiscent of a Babylonian landscape. In Smith’s smaller works isolated figures with medieval saintlike statures stand alone amongst fragments of their flawed and wounded selves. Brush strokes are used to create these pockets of fragments drifting in the wind and settling around these fallen saints as in the painting of Paladin. In other works figurative clouds and chandelier like ethereal compositions are drawn and painted with gesso and graphite. In these works the figures float and the eye is drawn to focal points that form the central narrative to these scenes.

Smith’s unique works are complex in origin and draw you in to their immersive worlds revealing more and more. They tell stories of being human in a complex world. Born in London, Smith completed her BA (Hons) Fine Art at University College Falmouth and now lives and works in Penzance. She has exhibited across the UK, has been selected for the RA Summer Show 2015 and short listed for a number of prizes including the Mostyn Open and the Threadneedle Prize.

Find out more about the artist: www.jayneanitasmith.com