Mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, metalpoint drawing can claim an illustrious artistic heritage, with its use in the Middle Ages in monastic scriptoria and later, as silverpoint, by Dürer, da Vinci, Rembrandt and others.
Among today’s artists, I am one of a few fluent in this technique. As a contemporary artist, I seek to go far beyond the traditional use of metalpoint, while the very fact of using this ancient technique – a veritable slow art – is at the center of my practice. My drawings of nature act as witnesses, questioning their subjects in an intimate, meditative way,
Working with scale to reveal what is usually hidden to the eye. I am interested in geological time, our planetary history and elements of nature older and more venerable than humans. By drawing with a humble metal stylus, I seek to align my work both with the primordial earth and also with the cultural, even archetypal, role of the artist through the ages. My dialogue with stones, bark, leaves, vines or trees allows me to create a personal reflection of the natural world. I celebrate the hidden inner worlds of plants and minerals, all part of this exquisite, fragile nature around us which has supported human life for millennia and is now under great environmental pressure.
In addition to the abiding concentration on nature which infuses my entire body of work, my recent practice has been deeply informed by matters both of place and of time. Recent works accomplished between 2018 and 2021 express my artistic encounters with the terroirs of America, Japan, Australia, the Balearic Islands of Spain, French Burgundy and Portugal. I am currently working on palimpsest concepts, situated at the nexus in my own life where "place" encounters "time" in layers of present and past.
Website : www.jeanninecook.com
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