REBECCA DRIFFIELD - ARTIST STATEMENT
I like passionate emotion and force in painting and that's what I aim for: to explore, through a pastiche of elements pasted next to each other, the visual experience of being alive today. The elements at first may appear enigmatic in my paintings but on 'reading' the painting, the more apt they seem. My work is cinemographic and psychological in that it projects one into a world which is recognisable but not 'real'. Man’s life is a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous and more than ever, we live in a world of incongruous juxtaposition. I find this interesting and creatively inspiring and artists working with a narrative approach, reflect this in a way that has not been seen before in the history of painting.
Knowing the sources of inspiration are a good entrée to an artist's work so I thought it could be helpful to know some of mine !
The sources of inspiration for my painting in terms of other painters,writers and musicians are quite diverse:
I like the paintings of Kitaj for his composition and exploration of ideas through narrative; Neo Rauch, exciting in its narrative intent and play with scale;
Gérard Garouste, how he paints, what he paints psychologically. From further back: Max Beckman,especially his triptyches, so powerful and original; Diego di Rivera for his vast frescos: narratives across a horizontal plane where the eye travels from figure to figure, travelling through a work/ reading a work. Gauguin, for the dusky hues and composition; Manet, for the reflective pensive quality he captures and the plastic sensuality of his work.Velasquez, because of the humanity in his faces and his sublime painting virtuosity.
Regarding books: I enjoy the sense of following a journey in order to understand better and learn and experience. An exploration of a central idea/ideas which is/are played out by the characters.
I love Sebold's writing so original, poetic, descriptive and personal and his use of images; recently, I so enjoyed Edmund de Waal's book, “The Hare with the amber eyes”, about the story of the Netsuke collection he inherited, which was an exploration of exile and homecoming. Reading is deeply important to me.
Music: why Jazz ? For its smoky, nostalgic, cosmic, sexy and soul atmosphere. I love the music of the greats- Coltrane, Miles, Billy Holiday how she phrases each line in that broken, sweet and sad voice: I try to express mood in my jazz pieces the visual world of Jazz with its black and white, sassy colours and styles, and the mood of the night world of dreams which I find beautiful and inspiring.
Rebecca Driffield is a figurative painter who was awarded 4 grants by the Australia Council in Australia, her native land, and has lived and painted in Paris since 1986. Driffield's painting has also received recognition in London where she was awarded 2nd Prize at the prestigious annual BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery; her portrait was used as the image to represent the Award. Also in London , Rebecca was invited to show at the Annual Figure Show at the Jill George Gallery in 2005 and was one of the artists in the widely broadcast BBC program "Star portraits". Her work has been selected for various Art fairs: ArtLondon, ArtAthina and MacParis as well as various events at the National Portrait Gallery of London.