Jenny Parsons grew up in Durban, where she studied under Virginia MacKenny, Jeremy Wafer and Clive van den Burg, graduating with a Higher Diploma in Fine Art from the Natal Technikon in 1988. She held a number of exhibitions in Durban before moving to Cape Town, where she has lived and worked for the past 20 years.
Durban Revisited is Parsons’ first exhibition in Durban in nearly two decades, and marks a return to the KZNSA, the venue of her very first show.
The exhibition explores the same subject matter of her earlier work, but with fresh eyes and from the perspective of an older, more established artist.
In preparation for the exhibition, Parsons spent two weeks drawing in and around Durban. “I was surprised to find that I was drawn to the same elements of the landscape as I was twenty years ago.”
She then returned to Cape Town where she completed the paintings in her Observatory studio. “The paintings employ a fresh and painterly brush mark and are reminiscent of the original sketches. Yet they are firmly rooted in the observed and the ‘seen’.”
Durban Revisited seems to reinterpret the familiar seen through the eyes of a painter, creating a mood, a feeling or a moment of recognition in the viewer.
“I have engaged with elements which are specific to Durban – lush vegetation, harbour views and red-roofed suburbs. Typical of my work are the vertical structures imposed on the landscape and the use of colour to depict light.”
“To return to the landscape of my childhood, and the landscape in which I became a painter, has been a fascinating journey – at once familiar and foreign. Hopefully the paintings reflect the process of rediscovering the landmarks of Durban and the formative images of my early years as a painter.”