In this body of work mid-career figurative painter Jenny Rodgerson explores an internalised realm of the psyche and spirit, through representing the human figure. Frequently viewed from behind or in profile, the solitary men and women who populate her paintings invariably appear poised in a moment of introspection. Stripped of clothing and artifice, their naked state reflects an internal vulnerability that is rendered sensitively by the artist, rather than an eroticised image of the body. Rodgerson’s nude figures rarely look directly at the viewer, steering away from the genres of portraiture and narrative painting. This allows the audience to contemplate the solitary journey of physical and metaphysical self-awareness that her figures appear engaged in, without being distracted by the specifics of personality that are often written on the face.
The human shadow has been thought of throughout history as a visual manifestation of hidden aspects of the psyche or soul. Often the only companion to Rodgerson’s isolated figures are their own shadows, and their frequent inclusion in this body of work speaks of the duality of human nature and the contrast between what is hidden and revealed. Many works feature an interior setting and the artist convincingly evokes the enclosed space of a room, with attention paid to the angles and planes that form its corners and walls.