Jennings Explores The Nature Of Coastal Disturbances - 27 East

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Jennings Explores The Nature Of Coastal Disturbances

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Janet Jennings,

Janet Jennings, "Gardiner’s Squall," 2020. 48" x 72." Oil on canvas

authorStaff Writer on Sep 21, 2020

In her work, local artist Janet Jennings explores the relationship between experience, memory, and how to strike a balance between the two. That link is evident in “Coastal Disturbances,” a show of Jennings’ work is now on view at Chase Edward Contemporary in Bridgehampton.

Since her introduction to the work of British scientist James Lovelock in 1980, climate change has simmered in the back of the artist’s mind. James Lovelock’s best known Gaia theory, which postulates that the Earth functions on a self-regulating system, took hold of Jennings and over the years facilitated an understanding of global warming’s urgent exigencies. In horizons and landscapes, pervading mist creeps in and across her canvases. In an understated ode to the idea of self-regulation, her canvas ebbs and flows with natural light that salutes the Earth’s magnificence, while at the same time warning the viewer just how precious and fleeting the view is.

“Weather plays a powerful, unpredictable role in my paintings. Over the years, I have felt the environment’s fragility more and more,” said Jennings. “I understand the word ‘storm’ as the connecting link between what is happening in the world and what is happening to our planet. As much as our overwhelming global and environmental states surface in my work, my first allegiance is to a beautiful painting that provides a haven from the chaos. A painting that is both the reason and the place to begin our work.”

Much of “Coastal Disturbances” was finished during the COVID-19 pandemic, but “a one woman art show in COVID seemed irrelevant,” Jennings said.

It stands to reason that when she stepped back from her newest body of work, she saw that subconscious elements of her own experience and memory had found underpinnings in the brushwork. After connecting the dots and noticing how her paintings reflect and refract our own experience and memory, specifically, of the earth, Jennings looked ahead to making a difference.

Accordingly, a portion of the proceeds from each painting sale will go toward Drawdown East End, a grassroots group focused on local solutions to reverse global warming.

Mary Morgan, the group’s co-founder, explained how the organization is “inspired by Project Drawdown, which is both a best-selling science-based book of climate solutions and a leading international research project, outlining an achievable roadmap for a livable future, with many cascading health, economic and security benefits. Drawdown East End will again be organizing a Drawdown Festival Film Forum Fun day-long event at Southampton Arts Center January 23, 2021.”

Janet Jenning’s “Coastal Disturbances” will be on display at Chase Edwards Contemporary, 2462 Main Street, Bridgehampton, until October 12. The work can also be viewed online at chaseedwardsgallery.com. For more information, call 516-697-5163.

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