Patterson’s work is heavily influenced through being one of a conjoined set
of identical twins who were surgically separated at birth. Her twinning creates resonant psychological dimensions that are reflected in her compositions, for instance paired or mirrored motifs recur throughout her work, often creating surrogate double portraits. Her magnetic attraction to doubled imagery emerges in her manipulation of shadows and mirrors. The reflective surfaces of both glass and mirror for her chosen medium allow her to explore these ideas of duplicity and identity further.
With a nod to the Surrealist movement, Patterson takes everyday objects such as boxes or cabinets and makes her own ‘assisted readymades’. These objects, once open reveal hidden secrets. The compartments, like rooms of a house become microcosmic worlds in
themselves, like cells of the mind, a theatre of the domestic, they are a playground of potential for the artist. Patterson is sensitive to the significance of ordinary objects, transformed in the hands of a writer or an artist, taking on a double life. She collects old canvases and cabinets, prizing them for their interesting backs or internal spaces. Patterson likes the fact these come with their own unique histories that relate to a previous existence.
Labels, doodles and marks become precious gifts and identities in
these objects, testaments to their past. By working with these objects, Patterson allows the viewer to wander between
narratives and worlds, uniting extant references with new images, or creating entirely new
ones, recalling Duchamp: ‘it is the onlookers who make the pictures’. Patterson feels she merely borrows these pieces, by adding her own layer to them. For these cabinets can be shut, the boxes closed and the canvas’ turned allowing them to exist as they always have done without knowing the artist had ever touched them.
Jemimah Patterson lives and works in the UK in Kent
She studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design in London between 1997 and 1998 and completed her BA (Hons) at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art at the University of Oxford from 1998 to 2001. She has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally.
Her works can be found in numerous collections all over the world including most notably Her Royal Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi and The Dorchester Hotel, London.