Medium: Acrylic on Wooden Panel, Framed (without glass)
Phoebe Senior infuses her paintings with movement, life, and vitality, where wildlife is poised to leap from the canvas, birds ready to take flight, animals to pounce or slumber. Compositions fall in on each other, on the brink of collapse.
Her signature style is a combination of dark backgrounds and fine details with vivid colours carefully rendered, evoking portraits from the Dutch Golden Age while introducing a surrealist approach to the composition of animals she portrays. These paintings depict quiet moments of repose, wonder and contemplation, as we stare upon the animals which glance out at us. Focusing on pattern, textures, and colour within these works, the subjects she paints sit on-top of one another, distinctive through the difference in the features of fur, feathers or patterning.
Using acrylics as her medium, Phoebe creates artworks in which animals take the centre stage, celebrating the beauty in nature and invite the viewer to let go of all other notions of the portrayed creatures. The combining of surreal and realistic elements, grounds her audience in a familiar reality while inviting them to imagine something grander.
The titles of the paintings are taken from the animals own history, and what they have symbolised. It is a way to let the viewer think deeper about the importance behind them symbolically and what they represent throughout history. We have used animals as our symbols and compared them to our own personality traits for millennia ,closely observing them to discover ways to adapt into our lives and make better. Animals occupy an important place in symbolic and allegorical iconography, a fact abundantly reflected in historical paintings.
The use of the red ribbon not only adds a pop of colour to the works, but is used throughout Renaissance Art as a way to help the viewers eye move and create tension of colour. Phoebe uses this tool to pull the animals together onto a single plain, blurring the line of the realism in which they are painted. The red runs throughout one painting to the next within the exhibition, connecting all animals with this flowing ribbon like a river, a symbol of eternal change and movement.
Putting her academic skills in to practice, her love for the arts and her desire to translate the intangible images and stories that reside in her mind, she turns her ideas into visible works that can be shared with others. Blending the idea of illusion and fact, she creates an imaginary world of peace and surrealism through animal placement. With a world of textures, colours and shapes to explore, nature is an exciting feature for many artists and Phoebe uses them to her advantage in creating this exhibition of works.