September 12, 2014 – October 18, 2014
Jeannette Nguyen is a Toronto-based artist and screenprinter. She graduated from OCAD in 2006 with a major in Photography. After having lived abroad, Jeannette began to focus and specialize in illustration and printmaking. She currently works as a Scenic Painter in film and television, and prints at Open Studio in Toronto. Her work is illustrative and graphic in style, comical with strokes of whimsy. She depicts real and magical creatures trying to live life in slightly altered but real environments. At times these creatures are shown carrying on as they normally would in their made up worlds, allowing the viewer to get a glimpse of their personal plights. At other times, these creatures silently address the viewer, prompting a personal response or just a smile. Jeannette’s themes revolve around subconscious anxieties often pertaining to nature, animals and the environment.
Creating prints is something Nguyen does to express subconscious ideas, thoughts and anxieties. She creates these works to see how she feels and to know what she thinks. Her process is very intuitive, and often stems out of automatic drawing, which allows her thoughts and feelings to form naturally. She builds on this foundation, adding elements, and putting characters in an environment, plight or predicament, whatever seems most fitting. Screenprinting is a fitting process for her images—it compliments and completes what started as lines in a sketchbook. Screenprinting breathes new life into each illustration. Every finished print takes on a life of its’ own. By freely drawing without a defined goal it allows her to bring underlying thoughts and anxieties to the forefront; thematic patterns develop naturally and intuitively. Social anxieties, the environment and the future are all recurring themes in Nguyen’s work. She represents these themes with a whimsical and playful aesthetic, a style that she finds natural and well represents herself. This aesthetic emerges from childhood cartoons, animations and comic books; it lightens the subject matter and often makes daunting realities somewhat more bearable, even comical at times. By acting as the tool to express her subconscious, Nguyen hopes to flesh out a fuller world within her illustrations for her current and future characters to reside in.