Still: Jennifer Trouton

17 September - 14 October 2009

For over a decade, Jennifer Trouton has been observing the flux which the habitus has had on the physical transformations that map the Irish landscape and the houses built on this landscape, some of which have been abandoned [Re(collection), 2007] or others which have been cherished, with memories both real and imagined exposed [Ellipsis, 2008]. As an artist, she has sometimes occupied these spaces physically and at other times conceptually, making work with exceptional skill and dexterity that bears integrity of purpose, achieved largely due to her role as an empathetic observer. She is drawn to the oft-overlooked banalities of human existence, giving dignity to the little losses that are slipping away; the lost generations and their culture; of childhood innocence subsiding into adolescence, and of community based everyday rituals that are usurped by individualism and isolation.


   In Still, her latest exhibition, she has furthered her ideas of home as an allegory as to how we live now, by exploring the relationship between the environment and its transformations, bringing relational aesthetics into her conceptual process. ‘Home is no longer a dwelling but the untold story of a life being lived,’ is how Nikos Papastergiadis has defined this contemporary state.

   Like all her exhibitions, the title is one that has been carefully considered, layered with multifarious interpretations, thick with meanings, laden with metaphors and allegory, revealing the obvious whilst simultaneously hiding it. For example, Still could refer to the inertia of all two-dimensional work, in particular still life paintings. However, in our media saturated age, the term can also imply film stills, which were once animate, thus referencing the visual - past and present. Idiomatically, the title also suggests a notion that underneath the apparent ‘stillness’ in these works there is a sense of rage as in the saying ‘still waters run deep’ and although the work appears representational, it is only one layer of the conceptual process. Within this body of work there lies a subtext which suggests that there has been a tumult, an agitation, an excitement that has passed, adding a feeling of unease or unheimlich.


Jane Humphries
Doctoral Candidate in TRIARC, Trinity College Dublin whose research thesis is ‘Re-imagining The Domestic in Contemporary Irish Art’


Jennifer Trouton has exhibited extensively throughout Ireland and internationally. Previous solo exhibitions include the 18th Street Gallery Los Angeles, Spectrum Gallery London, The Ashford Gallery Dublin and The Fenderesky Gallery Belfast. Her awards include a residency at the 18th Street Art Complex in Santa Monica, USA, the COE Adjudicators’ Prize awarded by Andrea Schlieker from the 4th Plinth Project, Trafalagar Square, and a Golden Fleece Award hosted by the Liliias Mitchell Foundation. In 2007, Trouton was shortlisted for Ireland’s prestigious AIB Artist of Promise Award. Trouton’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The University of Ulster, Belfast HSC Trust, ESB Ireland, The Office of Public Works and the David Roberts Collection, London.