Jennifer Trouton


Jennifer Trouton. Golden Fleece Award 2016

Medium: Visual Arts - Painting in oil on linen


The Ties that Bind The Ties that Bind Longue durée Longue durée Ariadne's Thread All that Remains


In the early part of my career I regularly worked in multiples on a small scale, using a rhetorical methodology to convey the larger meanings of my work. In 2013, whilst maintaining the same level of detail within my painting I began working on a significantly larger scale. This was an ambitious and understandably time-consuming departure for me.

To date, the larger works I have made have attracted the attention of some of Ireland's most respected curators and been exhibited in major public Galleries throughout Ireland. I am applying to the Golden Fleece because with the aid of an award I could build on this critical success and create a new series of large-scale figurative paintings that celebrate traditional skills but which operate on a contemporary level. However, creating large-scale paintings requires considerable time. For example my painting The Ties That Bind took a year to complete. This dramatically decreases ones output and financial prospects.

A Golden Fleece award would help to pay for studio space and materials, but most importantly it would offer the gift of time. Time to invest in painting. 15 months ago I became a mother and since the birth of my son, for financial reasons, I have been working piecemeal from home in a small space, which precludes the creation of largescale works. This grant would allow me to pay for a studio for 2 years, invest in parttime childcare and facilitate research trips to wallpaper collections in Victoria & Albert Museum London and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. In short, it would enable the creation of a challenging new body of work and support the continued growth of my career.

Artist Statement

For over a decade, my work has considered the metamorphosis of the Irish landscape and the architectural spaces built throughout it. As an artist, I have occupied these spaces conceptually and physically, engaging in a form of domestic archaeology that focuses on the way aspects of our personal histories, the oft-overlooked banalities of human existence are written into the spaces we occupy. Recently, I have been focusing on wallpaper and fabrics, playing on their comforting familiarity to tell wider, universal stories of class-warfare, of diasporas brought about by economic circumstance and of the women who bore the brunt of societal changes not of their making.

Unlike the large-scale history paintings our museums were formed to house, we now witness our world, too often, through a small screen in photographic form. Artist and academic Dr M. S. Hall theorised that "advances in new media have invariably emphasised speed and efficiency over time and complexity; our images are perceived predominately as instantaneous transmissions on a flat homogenous screen rather than an experience of articulated substance." By contrast painting is visceral, messy and slow and consequently faces the challenge of existing as a physical thing in a world full of virtual images.

I intend to create a body of large scale, representational painting that utilises an academic, trompe l'oeil style but which, through subtle manipulation of historical iconography, resists being defined as 'traditional'. Using the tools and materials of the past, my intension is to use the familiarity of still life painting, so oft dismissed as female, domestic or romanticizing, and to engage with the viewer on a multitude of levels and in the process subvert the ideology and technology of our time by challenging Delaroche's oft quoted contention that "From today, painting is dead".