Colour is vital to artist Jill Tattersall. She uses paints, inks, dyes and pigments to build up intense and glowing, but subtle, colours. The process is all a bit risky and time-consuming, involving trial and error, experiment, and a lot of thought and planning. One of Jill’s solo shows was called ‘Chance or Design?’ and that just about sums up her approach.
Jill often uses her own cotton paper to paint on, which offers a seductive, unpredictable surface and can be cast and manipulated. She is constantly experimenting with materials and techniques. Each new piece represents a challenge: a puzzle to solve. Throwaway or reclaimed elements combine with costly ones such as pure pigments and gold and silver leaf. As long as it doesn’t rot, fade or rub off, the artist will consider it; she wants people to enjoy the playful, experimental aspect of her work as well as the underlying ‘story’.
Jill once taught medieval literature, and her research on maps and travel in early French texts led to a fascination with the ways people have seen and depicted the physical world in different times and cultures. This interest underpins her art. She also loves text as a form of pattern-making as well as a
way of conveying meaning.
Jill believes pattern creation and recognition are fundamental to art and music; the rhythms and forces of nature leave traces and create shapes in the physical world. There is a sense of continuity and purpose in knowing that her own urge to mimic them and weave them back into the environment has been felt by people since earliest times. Patterns are everywhere: coastlines, weather systems and blood vessels; maps, mazes and manuscripts; plants, trees and gardens.
Jill has shown work all over the UK with many solo exhibitions in private and public galleries, and done commissions, talks and workshops. She now runs The Wolf at the Door in Hove (Artists Open Studio) and has taken part in the Brighton Arts and
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