Wishart not Wishy Washy

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Jennie Wishart shows us her artwork’ not wishy-washy. Born in Anglesey, North Wales she initially studied Fine Art at the then Sunderland Polytechnic. This was followed by further study at our very own John Moores University, Liverpool becoming her adopted home. She began a career teaching Art in secondary schools, this was brought to an abrupt halt after the birth of her daughter, Jennie suffering from Post Natal depression:

”It was a slow journey to build myself up again, I felt totally alone, not knowing anyone with a child to care for”

Postnatal depression affects as many as 1 in 7 mums, it is a severe form of clinical depression relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Feelings of hopelessness, guilt and problems bonding with the new baby are common signs. As a result of the experience, she decided to train as a therapist.

Jennie decided she wanted a second child and became pregnant again, throughout the pregnancy she feared another bout of post-natal depression after the baby was born. However, this time she was in luck, there was not repeat of the depression and she was ‘Gifted’ with a beautiful baby boy.

Her artistic career has accompanied her on life’s emotional journey:

”The art had never stopped… I wanted to capture my children. I’ve so many paintings of them with wings. I went through a phase of painting everyone with wings.”

As all great artists do she enmassed a haul of paintings, drawings, sketchbooks and notepads. In July she held an exhibition of her works at the Egg, Liverpool’ leading grass routes exhibition space. Located just off Bold Street, the Egg is a converted Victorian Warehouse frequented by an eclectic mix of bohemians: students and artists alike. This was followed by her debut solo held at the Unity Theatre. The small-scale theatre with big ambition being an ideal venue for Jennie’ paintings.

However, disaster was to strike again, Jennie was to be sectioned under the mental health act leading to a five-week period in hospital.

‘Living in Fear’ is a later work, the emotion conveyed through the figure is expanded through the use of shadow. We see a figure frightened, the anticipation of fear indicated by the shadow overcoming the figure. The poise is almost prey-like, her hands coming together, almost shaking as the face reflects the emotions which are present in her face. Yet, the bright range of purples and yellow make it an almost pleasant image to view, interesting work from an artist turning in new directions within her practice. The work is currently on display at the Shatter the Silence exhibition held at the Quaker Meeting House.

An artist who struggles with mental health which is exposed through her artist practice who only looks to get stronger.
‘Shatter the Silence’ exhibition takes place in the cafe exhibition space at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT, the private View being held 4-6pm on Friday 24/03/17, the exhibition running until Sunday the 21/05/17. The Cafe is open from 9am-3pm weekdays and 9am-4pm on Saturdays closed on Sundays. Arts activities relating to the exhibition are planned for the Light Night taking place on the 19/05/17 the closing weekend of the exhibition.