This is an inspired book, a fascinating insight watching style and design change as the artist is influenced by her life. A delight to have on the coffee table to browse through at will.
by Jane Thompson
I really appreciate the Study for.. alongside the final paintings, the etchings and engravings, and the Life Drawings. In fact it is an all round fascinating collection of examples of her work.
by Peter Evans
Jenny Leach’s monograph shows 30 years of her creative life, starting with the experimental sculpture, bold wild drawings, and etchings of her student days.
Particularly interesting are the paintings and drawings which she has done from memory, several of them reworked as etchings, often, to my mind, more successfully. They demonstrate the tension she feels between working figuratively and abstractly, and many of them are rather Gorky-esque with an underworld atmosphere – bars and dives, waiting rooms and dark streets.
The still lifes are terrifically vigorous and darkly worked, but in contrast the life drawings, done more recently, are beautiful and lightly, loosely and sensitively drawn. Jenny says she regards the human figure as the “ultimate challenging subject matter” and each one is a risk the outcome of which is unknown. The portraits show great tenderness for her subjects; for her mother in hospital with, strikingly, a bird of prey on her arm; for her father falling asleep with Milli the dog; and for her old dog Tess in repose, long-boned and whiskery.
It’s a book I find renewed interest in revisiting, not least because Jenny was once my teacher and the drama and skill in the pictures are a means of knowing her better!
by Sally Shillito
Jenny leach was born in Fulham (London UK) in 1966 to musician parents.
Jenny Trained as a dancer from the age of 11 to 17 and spent some time after this travelling and working in various jobs. On returning from India in 1985 she wandered into Putney Art School
hoping to do a photography course as a hobby interest. She was accepted onto the portfolio preparation course. Through this course she was introduced to Oil Painting, Etching and Life Drawing, these quickly became a passion which led her to Camberwell Art School.
Working in diverse jobs during her studies and on leaving college (including being a bar maid,
waitress, betting shop clerk, painter/decorator and life model) She then worked at Putney Art School as a tutor, teaching Life Drawing and Painting, Etching, Portfolio Preparation, later teaching the visual studies unit of the Diploma in Art and Design (a course she co founded with Jan Malaszek) and the Advanced Open Studio Workshop.
Jenny considers that teaching makes one re-evaluate how one works, helps with visual problem solving as well as bringing a clarity of explanation to technical issues.
Working with colleagues who are also Visual Art practitioners has been great fun and interesting because everyone has their own way of doing things with an integrity which seems a rarity in the 21st century.
Group exhibitions include - Millinery Works (London), Barbican Centre (London), Sweet Briers
College (USA) and Gallerie Jeanne (Munich)