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“Culture” and more art by Barbara Jones

“Culture”, 2021
9 x 9 cm (h x w)
GBP 150
Acrylic paint on acetate

My art practice relates to microscopic cells so is perfectly suited to the circular format of a Petri dish. “Culture” comprises a series of circular sheets of acetate onto which I have painted cell-like shapes which are then contained within the sealed Petri dish. Depth is generated within the layers through the addition of “spacers”, creating distance between some of the acetate sheets. I aim to give the impression of the view through a microscope, producing three dimensional effects and a sense of movement. For this artwork I have replaced my usual medium of watercolour with acrylic which is more suited to the plastic surface of acetate, but I have tried to emulate the translucent effect of watercolour, instilling the work with mysterious qualities. There are many paradoxes within this work. The cell images are very beautiful, yet they could be perceived as cells of a deadly disease, a sight we have become familiar with throughout the pandemic. The watery colours give the cells a delicate quality yet each one is bound by a strong perimeter edge. Each cell appears, at times, to be both transparent and opaque, depending on its positioning in relation to other cells.

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