'Jilly Jiggy', GL Brierley

Multi-coloured abstract painting

2009, Oil on wood, 29 x 24.5 cm

Artist's statement

This work is one of a series that examines the fetishistic nature of painting and the way it mirrors a private world.

There is a seduction/repulsion dynamic discussed in the writings of the theorist Julia Kristeva. She argues that for a child to separate from the mother, he/she has to see her as abject, which in turn renders the maternal body a site of both repulsion and attraction. This primal repression, she argues, can be displaced onto another object, a fetish. With the work, paint is poured, dripped and allowed to scab and wrinkle in layers. Amidst this unruliness, glazes are used to detail, groom and lovingly cherish the resulting object/subject in its state of becoming. The result is a 'paint personality' constructed from inherent alchemical accidents.

With this series there are echoes of the ethnographic artifact. I was thinking also of the newly discovered natural worlds depicted in 17th-century Dutch still life paintings, where ultimately the tulip became a commodity fetish. In my painting there lurks the ghost of the Victorian male collector, perhaps bringing to mind continuing contemporary themes of public/private display and the fetishistic gaze of ownership.


G L Brierley was born in Glossop, Derbyshire in 1962. She studied at Goldsmiths College London 2005-07. Group shows include 'East End Academy' Whitechapel Gallery London 2004, 'The Whitechapel Auction - Defining The Contemporary Whitechapel Gallery 2006, 'Foreign Body(ies)' Whitebox New
York 2007, 'The Teardrop Explodes' Stadtgalerie Schwaz Austria 2007, 'Artfutures' Bloomberg Space London 2007, 'Light Divided' Louise Blouin Foundation London 2008. Solo shows
include 'The Naughty Puppies' Firstsite Colchester 2005, 'New Paintings' Natalia Goldin Gallery Stockholm 2008, solo
presentation in 'Volta NY' (with Madder 139 London) New York 2010 and forthcoming Matersatz Madder 139 2010. Exhibited in 'John Moores 23' 2004.