Born in Canada to British parents, Jennifer Mills moved to London aged 3 where she has always resided and worked. She has spent her life pursuing many creative passions. At 17 she pursued full time studies in dance, but returned to her first love of painting.
She grew up in what was sometimes a tense household environment, finding escape in film, music and looking through the art books in the bookcase, such as 'The Shock of the New'. Were she discovered Francis Bacon. Bonnard and Freud's work. She would use her Dads' box of oils to paint alone in the bedroom.
After having a child at 19 years old, a single parent after the father suffered a brain hemorrhage, she obtained a Painting and Drawing diploma part time at 'Putney School of Art' in her 20's. Following this she secured a place on a BA Fine Art course at 'Central St. Martins School of Art' deferring after 2 years for the treatment of Cervical cancer, she returned to graduate for the final year, where she trained under 'The London Group' Artist Mike Thorpe. An important man in her practice.
Jennifer often uses human life, film, music and particular images that resonate with her.
Her work is evocative and passionate. She depicts in her work the incoherent nature of human being. The confusion and vitality of being alive. The beauty tensions and fears. What we see and what we don't see.
The awkwardness of difficult emotions.
With some pieces, the paint/colour is sculpted on the surface. She is interested in the presence they evoke in an unspecified space. How they represent deep sensibilities and the human state. Her figures grow out of a dialogue with the paint. A visual investigation. The use of colour choice is composed like the composition of a musical phrase.
"When any art composition works as it should it has a profound truth to it, that I find difficult to explain in words. Open humans, will sense it, whether its a poem, play, film, music or painting. Creativity is a vital freedom to this one human family. "
She currently works backstage in Westend theatre for a salary, to allow daytime to continue developing her art practice.
Jennifer's work can be seen in the 'Art UK National Collection' after The London institute of Art purchased 2 of her small pieces at the degree show. She also currently has a few pieces on The Saatchi Art website. She has exhibited in many group and solo shows and was listed for the Sarah Myerscough DLA Art award.
Painting. For myself, it’s an interaction that conjures up a truth. Using colour and composition as words are used in poetry. Or how a notes relate within music. The power of the use of light, colour and drama in film. Balance and pitch. Attempting to achieve a true synthesis.
I pay close attention to the aesthetic judgement, determining pitch and essence; I work a long time to control this. They always have a trace of human presence. I use art to transform deep sensibilities. I am interested and believe in existential theories of human life. The not knowing, The confusion. the tensions and fear in the atmosphere that surrounds humans. The bizarre beauty of it all.
I find film and music very inspiring. The atmospheres conjured up come from the same place. Film / music as with painting, creates its own reality. My son once said that my paintings performed. I liked that. Things will reveal themselves to your mind the longer you look at them. Its not just about the main main protagonist, but what surrounds.
My process of working is not unlike Bacon.
"The creative process is a cocktail of instinct, skill, culture and a highly creative feverishness. It is not unlike a drug; it is a particular state when everything happens very quickly, a mixture of consciousness and unconsciousness, of fear and pleasure; it's a little like making love, the physical act of love"
1997 - 1998
Putney School of Art Diploma in Painting and Drawing.
Group Show. Woburn Gallery, Euston London.
1999 - 2002
Central St Martins School of Art.
BA Hons Fine Art.
Listed for Sarah Myscough DLA Art Award.
Two of Jennifer's works are purchased by the London Institute of Art making them part of their National Collection.
Work exhibited in theThe BBC Public Catalouge Foundation.
Image of work used as cover for London Institute of art promotional Material.
Open Studio Show
209 1/2 Art studio's
110 Saint Martins Lane London WC2
The Olive Room
Artist in Need Solo show
Upstairs at the Selkirk
Upstairs at The Selkirk
Duo Show with Chris Rivers Nuttell.
Artful Pelican Gallery,
Grid Art Fair
Solo Exhibition / Rescidency.
The Freud Bar