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Jennifer Bain

Jennifer Bain


I question the condemnation of the appealing, beautiful, and feminine by representing images with these attributes confidently in my work.

This approach considers Yin (Chinese philosophy) or Shakti (India Hinduism). Chinese Daoism’s worldview is holistic rather than dualistic: its masculine and feminine elements are interdependent and dynamic. The feminine yin is contained as potential within the masculine yang, and vice-versa.  In Hinduism, Shakti, the divine feminine energy, is fundamental in creating the supreme energy force. Both of these examples eliminate the concept of hierarchy in the sexes, and taking their principles, I venerate symbols of the feminine, without apology.

Paying homage to what is considered taboo in high art, for instance flowers and butterflies, is an important part of my feminist conviction. The theme itself demands equality, a revision of acceptability, and an examination of the condescension of the feminine. I impose this image mode to realize acceptability in a patriarchal western culture.

Images are sketched and altered from observed, imagined, or appropriated sources then rendered on kaolin clay panel. I mix genres such as still life painting, botanical illustration and abstraction, to tell stories about listening, pecking order and comingling from the feminine perspective.


Studio movement is more circular than linear, by engaging my interest in opposites; I use contrasts and dualities trusting in spontaneous connections to arise in the imagery. I suspend value judgments in favor of receptive participation in the creative process; similarly to the concept of Yin and Yang or Shakti energy as focal to the supreme force, the circle is drawn.

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