Todd Jenkins

Todd Jenkins latest showing at Despard attempts to capture the rich indigenous culture present within the Tasmanian land and the transitional qualities of nature, through atmospheric abstraction and ephemeral visions of hedonism.

Endemic exams a number of current local environmental issues, such as diminishing ecosystems, human influence on the natural world and ultimately, calls for preservation towards iconic wilderness regions such as the Tarkine. Focus is placed on the delicacy of localised environmental assets such as plantae and insect species, fungi and evergreen flora; all subtleties of the Tasmanian landscape experience.

Jenkins makes his intentions clear through rich and contrasting oils, painted with untamed, yet contrastingly contained, strokes. Each painting simultaneously pushes and pulls between complex intricacy and subtle simplicity. Layers reveal one another and then conceal back with ease, atmosphere and light always of utmost importance.

Left: #14 Spectre 2019. Right: #18 Perennial 2019

The artist understands paint in both texture and hue, utilising vivid swirling motions and free flowing, evanescent mark making to capture raw moments of nature. Jenkins uses these flashes of fleeting imagery to create the atmosphere required in transcribing his allegorical intentions. 

Left: #24 Fossil Cliffs, Maria Island 2017. Centre: #5 Dragonfly 2019
Right: #17 Steadfast 2019

The gallery space benefits from these pictures and vice versa, with calm lighting casting a tranquility on the otherwise untamed imagery. It is satisfying to see a complete body of work engulfing the space opposed to a random amalgamation of incompatible styles.

Jenkins paintings view well from near or afar, individually, or as a body. The works feed off one another well in transition, however, the artist’s intentions become clearer when viewing the finer details.

#22 Endemic 2019

With precision and patience, figments of imagination transform between surreal and the recognisable. Ghost-like ecosystems grow and die. Dreamscapes merge with pristine landscapes, all held together by time and memory. Here we are given brief glimpses to the past with imagery born from the present; created by an artist yearning to capture and represent visions of an internal utopia. 

Review by PHANTASM