‘All in Stillness, Stands’, Chapman Gallery Canberra, ACT, 2010

“Is landscape painting meaningful today? Since its beginning it has had to struggle for legitimacy in the hierarchy of the painting genres. In the sixteenth century, Italian artists imposed the representation of the human figure as the highest achievement for every painter. Consequently, history painting – that is, works depicting scenes from religion, mythology or historical events- was considered the most noble. More recently, the domination of ‘contemporary art’ in official circles presents a new challenge for painting in general and landscape painting in particular.

Jill Kempson’s oeuvre, in all its rich diversity, shows us that landscape painting has the capacity to express all the colours and dimensions of the human soul. Earth can be seen as representing stability, our roots; Water, serenity and peace; Sky, inspiration and hope; Light, the soul’s aspiration for infinity.

Patrick Le Chanu “Jill Kempson’s Oeuvre: Landscape in Perspective” 

 (Translated by Karen Le Chanu).

The content of these paintings for the most part are based upon an exploration of a small number of private gardens in Norfolk, which Jill Kempson visited in June 2008. The exhibition also incorporates her painted response to the sepia photographs of Parisian gardens by the French photographer Eugene Atget from the early 1900’s. 

Jill did not set out to portray an in-depth understanding of the English garden per se. The gardens that she visited offered the chance to explore themes that are always present in her work: light, earth, sky and water. It was with intense fascination that she was able to observe, absorb and note down the alluring atmospheres and stillness of these remarkable gardens.

For Jill, this invaluable experience touched upon a place in the self that is brimming with the abundance of nature’s ever present renewing energy.

 She says she hopes the paintings speak of this place.