New Zealand 20th Century

Jasmine Middlebrook graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Otago Polytechnic School of Art in 2010. Painting has been a lifelong obsession for this artist and she has drawn since she was a child.

Middlebrook likes people to create their own stories and to make up their own minds when viewing her work and she was one of the highlights at the Dunedin School of Art SITE Art Exhibition.

In 2010, Middlebrook won two major awards for her painting. Taking second place in the Invercargill Licencing Trust Art Awards, a competition open to all NZ artists and then winning the Otago Polytechnic Dunedin School of Art’s Main Art Award in 2010.

Jasmine says of her work:

'Being surrounded by the visual does not necessarily mean we notice what we see. In this image saturated culture we often fail to pay attention, interpreting images in everyday life without much conscious thought at all. Therefore the looking and taking note of images effectively is especially important in the act of painting. Strategic use of images help us access aspects of knowledge that may have otherwise remained hidden or ignored.

Symbols and metaphors provide ideal triggers for such occasions, as they have the ability to characterise and communicate, often difficult to describe, experiences. From the most basic forms to complex images, each has a meaning to us, whether we are conscious of it or not. We learn these connotative meanings through our own personal experiences in culture and society.

My work focuses on the realm of pictorial narrative, exploring ways in which painting can communicate passages of time and how this can be imbedded into the painting process through the notion of painting as ‘becoming’. The different stages of development in the painting process suggesting the various moments and perspectives within a narrative.'


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