I use the medium of painting to investigate the structure of perception and how we understand the world by taking a cue from the strange imagery of reflections present in daily life. Usually, our minds automatically ‘fill in the blanks’ to conform incoming information to our worldview. However, the act of viewing a painting slows this experience down as we tend to look more closely. By exploring ambiguous images that exist on the edge of recognition, viewers are forced to think critically about what they are seeing. We tend to dislike being unable to identify what we are seeing and often our first reaction is to make an interpretation of that which is unknown. Partially recognizable images create an unsettling feeling of familiarity and a desire to know what is depicted in order to remove the uncomfortable sense of doubt. The painted surface becomes an area to project upon and reflect back the gap between our confidence in the truth of our perceptions and their constructed and fallible nature. I am interested in things that cast doubt on what ordinarily passes for reality and opening the possibility to alternative patterns of thinking. The medium of painting is a fitting tool as it echoes the structure of perceptions – it is a construct but has the ability to produce the effects of reality.
Jen Weber went to the University of Guelph and graduated in 2011with a BA honours in Studio Art, specializing in Painting. Over the course of 2010 to 2011, Weber participated in numerous shows in the Zavitz Gallery at the university. In 2011 she won the Painting Faculty Award, as well as an overall Honourable Mention, in the School of Fine Art and Music’s 43rd annual Juried Art Show. She has also participated in Emergency – An Emerging Artist Show and Mentoring Program and won 3rd place in the Shirley Dilworth Jaychuck Painting Competition at the Elora Centre for the Arts. Most recently Weber has had a solo exhibition of her work displayed as part of the Woolwich Local Art Program.
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