Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery is pleased to present Still Life show, recent works by Edmund Chamberlain, Karen Gunderson, Claire Jarvis, Stephen McKenna, Jemimah Patterson, Brian Sayers, Michael Taylor & Jennifer Trouton.

This group of artists were chosen because they engage with the traditions of still life painting, but do not succumb to the more decorative tendencies of the genre. This will be our last exhibition at Cork Street Gallery before our relocation to Albemarle Street. There will also be a selection of earlier works to view downstairs.

Still Life painting, at its best, is far more than a pretty arrangement of colours and shapes. The role of an artist is not to simply transcribe, but to interpret and imbue subject matter with a wider meaning. This could be something intensely personal. The objects depicted may act as metaphor for a time or state of being that has a particular relevance to the artist. The subject matter could also be used to highlight social or political themes in a more oblique manner, forcing the viewer to examine the theme more closely. Finally the still life can also offer solutions to the more philosophical questions surrounding painting, principally the examination of the boundaries between figurative and abstract art, but also the central question of what we are actually viewing.

Edmund Chamberlain was born in Yorkshire in 1968 and studied at Newcastle University between 1986 and 1990 under Patrick Symons. Winner of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, the Pollock Krasner Foundation Award and shortlisted for the Villiers David Prize, in 2005 Chamberlain won the prestigious ING Purchase Prize at the annual Discerning Eye exhibition held at the Mall Galleries, London. Chamberlain’s work is held in public and private collections in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. Edmund has had exhibited numerous times at Browse & Darby in London. It is Chamberlain’s desire to encourage viewers of his paintings to reconsider conventional notions of beauty by choosing subject matter that is often ignored or over-looked.

Karen Gunderson was born in Racine, Wisconsin. She has been the subject of numerous one-person shows throughout the United States and in Madrid, Spain and Sophia, Bulgaria. Gunderson’s paintings are created entirely using black oil paint. Over the past eighteen years she has perfected a technique whereby pictorial illusions result from white light reflected off the raised edges of varied brushstrokes. Using this technique, she produces a dazzling range of work from portraits to landscapes and the haunting seascapes which Waterhouse & Dodd have exhibited to great success in America. Discussing her still life paintings, Donald Kuspit remarks: “Precious, idiosyncratic, and exciting, Gunderson’s flowers shine with a life all the more radiant because it grows in the infinite black.”

Claire Jarvis studied at the Royal College of Art in London where she was awarded The Stanley Smith Scholarship. Claire’s works feature familiar and domestic scenes painted with an intense realism. Claire portrays objects in intricate detail within compositions that are always highly symbolic. Claire’s technical ability is no more apparent than in her rendering of challenging surfaces, not least the depicting of tin foil displayed opposite. Claire has had a solo exhibition at Waterhouse & Dodd (2011).

Stephen McKenna was born in London in 1939 and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. His paintings demonstrate a classical approach to still lifes, landscapes and interior settings, which hint at larger narrative themes. Major exhibitions of his work were held at The Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1993, at the Hans und Sophie Taeuber-Arp Foundation, Bahnhof Rolandseck, Germany in 2000 and at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin in 2005. Stephen has painting paintings in the collection of Tate Gallery, London, including the remarkable still life ‘Three Baskets’ (1995). He regularly exhibits with the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin.

Jemimah Patterson is sensitive to the significance of ordinary objects, transformed in the hands of a writer or an artist, taking on a double life. She collects old canvases and cabinets, prizing them for their interesting backs or internal spaces. Jemimah has had solo exhibitions in Abu Dhabi and London with Waterhouse & Dodd (both 2011).

Brian Sayers was born in Kent in 1954 and studied at the Slade School of Art in London. There followed teaching posts at Eton College and Westminster College. The recipient of numerous awards, including The Discerning Eye in 1995, Sayers has exhibited numerous times at Long & Ryle Gallery in London.

Michael Taylor was born in Sussex and studied at the Worthing School of Art (1969-70) and Goldsmiths School of Art (1970-73). He has received many awards for his paintings and undertaken a number of important portrait commissions. Three of his portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery, London: portraits of the musician Julian Bream, the composer Sir John Tavener, and the writer P D James, Baroness James of Holland Park. The artist says of his work, “I see this as a life-long process, involving as it does contemplation, reflection and production”His chosen way of working inevitably leads to a certain complexity of content that only reveals itself with time and familiarity.

Jennifer Trouton was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, and studied at the University of Ulster. The recipient of numberous awards including AIB Art Award shortlisted artist (2007) & Arts Council of Northern Ireland SIAP award, Jennifer has shown widely throughout Ireland and the UK. Very little of the composition shown opposite does not directly illustrate an element of the story of the artists family - a story which is echoed in households across Ireland and the UK.