Jenifer Carey, born in England, resides and works in Madrid, Spain, as a full-time physiotherapist. Concept of work: Both on and off the canvas, Jenifer is all about movement, the moment and zest for life. Full of bold, Mediterranean colours, her expressionist works convey the vibrancy of an instant reaching out to be shared by the viewer. They are accessible yet not facile, arresting yet pleasing. Art: My godfather gave me a box of oil paints at the age of 14. All pupils at Queen Anne’s School had to do a project, and I decided to do an oil painting. Out of 360 girls, I was given 1st Prize. I went on to achieve the top mark in both ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level Art, but I wasn’t a Da Vinci or a Michel Angelo, and I thought that I would never make a living being an artist. As I am very independent, this consideration was important to me, so I went against the wishes of my father – who would have liked me to study Beaux Arts –and trained in physiotherapy. However, I have always carried on painting in my spare time as I have a great need to express myself through painting. Every day I am working out ways to do something different, which is very stimulating. The four grants I received to work at the Frans Masereel Centrum, Belgium, were a ‘hinge’ in my artistic development because they stimulated me to dedicate more time to my art, and gave me the chance to develop in a focussed, supportive environment. And of course, the prizes that I have won have also been a catalyst.
Physiotherapy: Being a physio helped me achieve a desire to give something to society rather than just receive, as I have a strong social conscience and was born into a privileged family. Physiotherapy also made me realise that tomorrow is not promised to anyone – hence my appreciation of life, and the desire and urgency to live each day to the full. In my artwork, that translates into capturing the instant and conveying vibrancy.
Mediterranean: Why did I choose to live in Spain? Well, the noise, the bustling, the humanity, the joy, the light, the warmth and the colours of summer holidays spent in the Mediterranean countries attracted me and made me aware that I would be happier in another country than the UK. My first job took me to Madrid where I met my husband and stayed.
Inspiration: The more we learn about anything in life, the more we appreciate it. My love of jazz was given to me by a jazz enthusiastic patient who suffered from aphasia, due to a cerebral thrombosis, so his way of communicating with me was by giving me CDs of jazz which he created himself. As faces, hands and corporal movements are expressive it gave me a subject matter to enhance my work as an artist. Jenifer Carey I derive inspiration from personal observation; experiences, knowledge of the history of art and imagination, drawing on music especially jazz, literature as in ‘The Piano Tuner’ by Daniel Mason, and travel, especially to Ibiza and Morocco where the light is magical.
Personal: I’m constantly on the move, a real quick mover! Every day consists of juggling art, physio, family/friends, and sport – I zip out to the mountains close to Madrid to ski whenever I can, or grab an hour at lunch to play tennis or some golf under the Spanish sun. Regarding clothes, I wear base colours, grey and beige, white and cream, with only the occasional splash of colour – maybe all the colour goes onto the canvas! In any case, I need practical clothes for a fast-moving lifestyle, and constant changes for sport and work. Also, I hate shopping; it seems like a waste of precious time. Conclusion: I’d like my art to cheer people, to convey optimism and help them move forward, as I do literally via physiotherapy. I love to share my joy in life and my can-do attitude – which I’ve always needed for encouraging patients – is very present in my art. Personal motto? “Grab the moment!” There aren’t enough hours in the day – each morning I wake up excited about all the things I want to achieve, but wondering how on earth I’m going to get it all done!”
Artist’s Statement: With each new oeuvre I rediscover the joy of beauty and creation. My curiosity about life has led me, in art, to experiment with many methods of plastic expression. But whether I’m working in oil, sculpture or print, it’s all a way of sharing my zest for life, of capturing the instant. Matisse, who has been a major influence in my work, said that a great modern conquest has been the secret of expression through colour. It is precisely this secret that I use with oils, combining my intuition, quick strokes and my transgression of the limits of drawing to achieve expressivity in my paintings. The subject matter of my work is inspired by my passion for beauty, and shaped by my imagination and personal experiences. This can be seen in the series “The Piano Tuner”, which takes us on an exotic journey; in “Ibiza”, where the luminosity and atmosphere are more important than the figures, which are more essence than substance; or in “Marrakech”, where the atmosphere of jostling and haggling demand that the viewer pause and observe.Jazz is a spontaneous artistic expression. My love of music has enabled me to capture the movement and the atmosphere in oil as well as in sculpture: my metal musicians emerge from a long mould-making process spontaneously alive and immediate, their motion eternally ‘of the moment’.In my portraits I want to reflect a person rather than a realistic likeness. This I achieve through expression and gesture both in oil and with printing techniques. I started printing because I see it as a medium which allows me to always keep my work while sharing it with others again and again! I enjoy the discipline of printing and it has helped me to synthesize my work; again, the long process of making the plates doesn’t stop me seizing the instant. Each day is filled with moments; each moment reveals its individual flavour and texture, its unique beauty and delight. This constant journey of discovery and rediscovery offers me fresh inspiration to contrive and to share.
Artistic education: 1996-1999 Printing courses from Eloisa Peña at Brita Prinz, Madrid. – 1997 -2000 Drawing and oil painting courses with Hakim Alsadi, Taller Sumer, Madrid. – 2003-2005 Sculpture at the Faculty of Art at University of Madrid. –
Grants: – 1997, 1998, 1999 y 2001 Grants for printing in Centrum Frans Masereel, Kasterlee, Belgium. – 2009 Representation in Agora Gallery, Chelsea New York, USA, – 2010 Selected as Gallery artist in the Marunuochi Gallery, New York, USA. – Collective exhibitions: – 2010 Prints in CIEC, Betanzos, La Coruña, Spain – 2010 Prints and oils Marunouchi Gallery, New York, USA. – 2010 Oils and sculpture Agora Gallery, New York. USA. – 2010 Oils and prints Gora Gallery, Montreal, Canada. – 2010,,11 and 12 Prints in El Escorial, Madrid, Spain. – 2010,11, 12 and 13 Prints and artists books, ´Estampa`, print fair in Madrid. – 2011 Prints and artists books, Rina Bouwin Gallery, Madrid. – 2012 Prints and artists books, Alfaro Gallery, Oviedo, Spain. – 2012 Sculpture and prints in ´10 artists 5 continents`Gallery L’Art d’ Hommage` – Steinen, Germany. – 2013 Artist books and watercolour in art fair ´Art Madrid`. – 2013 Oils in ´Not the Royal Academy` Alexander Llewellyn Gallery, London.
Prizes: – 2004,05,06,07 Second prize in Majadahonda prints, Spain. – 2006 Second prize in Belles Artes Lerida prints, Spain. – 2006 First prize in Pinto prints, Spain.
Individual exhibitions: – 2007 Oils, prints and sculpture in Eboli Gallery, Madrid. – 2007 Prints opening of new Workshop of Taller del Prado, Madrid. – 2009 Oils, prints and sculpture Glam Art DKS, Vitoria, Spain. – 2011 Oils, prints and sculpture Eboli Gallery, Madrid, Spain.
Works in: – National Bibliotheca, Madrid, Spain. – Town Council Kasterlee, Belgium. – The Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp, Belgium. – Frans Masereel Foundation, Belgium. – Museo de Arte Mundial Contemporáneo en Durango, México.
Other activities: – Prints illustrating a book of poems by Teresa Elven. – Graphic and decoration of the show of dancing with poetry, ´Poemotion`, by Teresa Elven. – Artistic collaboration in the film, ´An American in Madrid`. – Participation of a book of prints of 14 artists, ‘La Amistad`. – Participation of a book of prints in memory of Sigfrido Martin Begué