Janna Watson Biography
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Janna Watson Description
Canadian painter Janna Watson uses abstraction as both an escape from and return to the real. As the world we know dematerializes into paint strokes, so too does her paint take stage as its very own character in a multi-act drama of composition. Bundles of colour, made up of discrete yet inseparable instances of pigment—what Watson refers to as “moments”—are teeming and poised as though caught mid-multiplication. Sweeps of paint re-direct sharply and fold over themselves; thin, rigid ink lines cut into the pictorial field as rudimentary elements in an increasingly complex system of painterly language. All the components play out on a surface of slow, chromatic gradation. Like many of Watson’s players, these backdrops tenderly gesture toward the familiar, stopping just short of representation. The result is a conceptual project (and distinct, stylistic signature) that speaks to a contemporary milieu in which abstract painting is not the retreat of meaning into an unrecognizable realm, but rather the emergence of medium as a "figure" in its own self-inscribed world of feeling and being. Watson does more than reveal paint's potential to emote-she gives it a space to reveal itself, in its own time.
Watson is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and is building an impressive list of exhibitions for such a young painter.
Janna Watson Statement
Line has an invisible and tangible ability to transmit energy and information. Line is what weaves forms and thought together and guides the eye through volume, space and time; it makes my thought process visible. Thoughts are triggered by outside influences, physically processed, and then sent outward once again. Thoughts cannot be possessed. They are simple, sometimes intruding, fleeting and completely intimate. They are the structures that manifest into real life with uncomprehendable potential. These are the qualities imbued in line. Line is used as a metaphor in my work, for the lifespan of a thought caught on canvas. It also symbolizes my opposing yet symbiotic lifestyles visible in the tension between organic and geometric forms. When I am painting, I strive to communicate the ideas I am digesting which give form to the image.