A couple of weeks ago our attention was caught by a series of paintings by the artist Miranda Boulton, beautifully layered oil paintings of flora with punkish flourishes of sprayed paint creating wonderful liberating images that made us long to see the work in the real. We got in touch and were delighted when Miranda agreed to join our line-up for our Flora & Fauna edition and to produce a special series of works making her work available to a wider audience, in the spirit of the Art Car Boot Fair. 

The wonderful news that came in yesterday is that she was announced as the overall winner of the Jacksons Painting Prize, making it through a field of over 8500 artist entrants and three rounds of judging to take the top prize. We are thrilled for her and thrilled for everyone that’s coming to the Art Car Boot Fair on May 15th too!

Central to Boulton’s work is the sense of the passing of time. Her subject are often flowers which are essentially memento mori, reminding us of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of life. For Boulton painting is very much a time based medium, the layers of paint like timelines on a tree, each holding memories of brush marks and integral to the finished painting. Or as David Joselit put it so well in Painting Beyond Itself (2016) ‘bundles of speed and energy built up over time’.

After Rachel I, oil and acrylic spray paint on canvas

In common with a number of painters in our line-up this year Miranda has an association to the phenomena that is the Turps Banana Painting School, completing three years of postgraduate study there in 2015. Her use of oil paint with the occasional application of acrylic spray paint at different points in her process provides a spontaneous element, enhancing the tension between the diversity of marks on the surface. 

In the artists own words on her winning painting 'After Rachel I’:  “My paintings are Nature Morte of flora. ‘After Rachel I’ is a response to memories of works by Dutch 17th Century still life painter Rachel Ruysch. These memories are translated into a contemporary pictorial language, linked through expressive colour, gesture and form. I paint from memory, working directly onto the canvas. My desire to respond to the memory is eventually abandoned as intuition and spontaneity take over linear rational thinking and the work writes its own narrative in the layers of paint and marks. Evidence of each layer is visible, revealing the painting’s journey. As the painting evolves I add and remove paint and turn the canvas to destabilise my process. An interest in the passing of time is central to my work. Flowers are Memento Mori, they remind us of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of life. I think of painting as a time based medium, layers of paint are like timelines on a tree, each holding memories of marks and integral to the finished piece. For me painting is an ongoing conversation between past and present, an exploration of new forms from old imagery and narratives.”

Trespass, 2021, oil and acrylic spray paint on canvas

Look out for Miranda Boulton's new series of paintings at the Flora & Fauna Edition of the ACBF on May 15th, and check out the News piece on Turps Banana including a short interview with its co-founder Marcus Harvey that we will be posting here over the weekend!

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