ArtFunkl Alumni Profiles 1: JJ Foley

Finding a means of translating her vision of the inherent qualities of the human body via figurative painting and drawing, has been a life long mission for Mississippi based artist JJ Foley.

Foley has been drawing for as long as she can remember, and the passion and energy with which she approaches her work has led to a natural evolution of style and use of media. She works within the parameters of figure drawing, but has always been open to experimenting with different aspects of representation, such as colour, scale, tone, and medium. Her work is an ongoing discussion with herself, whereby she questions her previous means of making art, selects or rejects each part of the process, and overlays the result with new ideas.

Her gaze and interpretation have slowly altered and gone in diverse directions over years of relentless practice. This is reflected in changes in the style of her output throughout her career. In recent times she has experimented with glazed clay sculpture and relief, successfully transposing the essence of her drawing and painting into the three dimensional realm.

Foley’s current practice has been focused on assemblage. She is aiming for more abstract representation, and assemblage is the first stage in that development. Individual figures are deconstructed, and each resultant part painted onto board. The boards are then collaged together as freestanding, flat sculptures, either solo figure or in groups. The result of this process of pulling apart, then putting back together is potent, and more powerful than the sum of its parts. Although the pieces are almost flat the assemblage technique adds heightened resonance to the piece, allowing some parts to retreat, while others gain emphasis. In this way the essence of the artistic intention is clearly stated, something which is sometimes more difficult to discern in a traditional, flat painting or drawing.

Over the past few years JJ foley has been prolific with her practice and has amassed a huge body of work. She is represented by Gallery Edge in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, USA, where a selection of her pieces are on display as part of the permanent collection of the gallery. Her work is also online on her Facebook page which is regularly updated.

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