Jon Woolfenden

I enjoy all things oily and industrial.  I spend my time in fishing ports and in factories painting, sketching, taking photos and generally absorbing as much of the working environment as possible.  I spent a day painting the ice making unit at Newlyn Harbour, it hummed and whined so much that I thought I had developed tinnitus.  I visited a turbine factory; man, machine, smell and sound akin to a scene from Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. The workers canteen served a fine curry that day.

You could say my working process is quite industrialized, I like to apply paint in as many ways as I can, using a variety of tools.   Paintings often start abstract, applying large amounts of paint with kitchen knives and rollers. Gradually forms start to be introduced to determine the composition; detailed work is sometimes applied with brush work, knife work or even an icing sugar applicator.  I also make my own stencils which I fix to the painting and use a squeegee to push thick oil paint through.  I enjoy trying to make paint do things that it is not supposed to do.  A slab of chequer plate in actual 3D, an electric light bulb that is switched on; a rusty pipe that is decaying on the canvas, the smell of iron from a landscape of chains.  A discarded glove.

Brief CV

1984 – 1987: Bath Academy of Art, Corsham

1987 – 2004: Arch 3 Studios, Manchester – Founder Member

2005 – Present Day Hope Cove Galleries, Devon – Founder Member

Work in many public and private collections including:
The National Museum of Labour History and Manchester City Art Galleries.

Exhibited widely throughout the UK, including:
The Royal Academy of Arts – Summer Exhibition 2011 and the Royal Overseas League.

Publications, Reviews & Media Coverage include:
Arts Review, Radio 4, The Guardian, The Independent, Granada TV and Western Morning News.


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