Less is more – Jan Chaffey
In Less is more Jan Chaffey abstracts the Pachystegia insignis, Marlborough rock daisy. She captures the energy of the plant, distilling the movement, balance and growth into lively brushstrokes. Taking inspiration from the Pachystegia that grow about her Tai Tapu home, she identifies the flow of her subject before applying her gestural marks. She describes them as ‘high-jump paintings’ – the act of painting being the leap that her mind and eye must take.
Through these works, Chaffey provides a different perspective on her great knowledge and passion for botany. She seeks the strength in the forms to provide the structure of the piece while also, she says, letting ‘the paint speak’ through dripping and bleeding colours. Chaffey deliberately restrains herself by seeking to describe the botanical form with ‘less’. In doing so, she departs further from the figurative elements of traditional botanic art towards dramatic expressive abstraction. Chaffey’s animated paintings in this exhibition bloom with the natural verve and vigour that she finds in these coastal plants.