Like the world around her, Jenna Kernaghan’s art is always evolving. Influenced by abstraction, surrealism and visionary art, her work on canvas immediately captures the attention of any room.
Her canvas work often distorts elements of the natural world and human form to create abstract patterns. It’s a process she said involves continuously overlapping and intersecting line and colour to create vibrant visual contrasts within complex abstract compositions.
“I’m fascinated by contrasts, combining soft blended areas of colour with bold line and pattern, and I’m especially driven by juxtaposing abstract composition with technical precision”.
“I want my work to inspire the viewer’s imagination and connect them to a feeling of infinite possibility. Capturing their attention with vibrancy before drawing them into a deeper state of reflection through the complexity and execution of the work”, she said.
Ms Kernaghan resonates strongly with the works of Wassily Kandinsky, one of the pioneers of abstraction, but said her current style of work is heavily influenced and inspired by Amanda Sage and Alex Grey.
Yet drifting back in time to take a glimpse at Kernaghan’s past, it’s easy to see her passion for fine art started from experiences of creating art in her childhood.
“I’ve always been drawn to expressing myself in creative ways, and I knew from a young age that the only thing I wanted to pursue was art. When I was about seventeen, I started painting regularly in my own time, and have been exploring creative pursuits ever since”, she said.
Developing a career and seeking out opportunities in the art world isn’t always set out like many other professions. Kernaghan shared that her path was one of self discovery through experimentation and the pursuit of independent learning.
“After high school I enrolled in university but soon discovered that environment wasn’t for me, so I left to pursue independent learning, spending the next few years experimenting with different mediums and methods, until realising that painting with acrylics was my favourite medium and preferred method of expression”, she said.
By 2016 she had gained enough confidence in her work to begin exhibiting in group shows across Melbourne. Since then, her focus was on developing her practice by exhibiting in numerous group shows across Melbourne and the Geelong region, holding three solo exhibitions, painting murals, live painting, and collaborating for installations and performance.
“I’m consistently seeking out new ways and places to show my work, researching upcoming exhibition opportunities and art prizes, and saying yes to chances to collaborate with people”, she said.
“Networking with like-minded creatives from a range of disciplines has been vital in developing my practice and gaining exposure”.
Kernaghan’s been busy making connections with creatives in Geelong, which have provided many opportunities for her to collaborate and show her work. Most significantly was her invitation to become part of The Hue and Cry Collective, a new shared studio space and cutting edge gallery in Geelong.
Most recently her work was displayed in the group exhibition ‘Chromatic Phenomenon’, held with two other artists at The Hue and Cry Collective, which she described as being one of the greatest highlights of her career so far.
“The gallery is such a beautiful and professional looking space, my large body of abstract figurative works looked amazing in there and I received really affirming feedback for the exhibition”.
With over a decade in producing on the canvas, Kernaghan’s favourite piece keeps giving her inspiration every day. Titled ‘Luna’, the work symbolises the feminine energy of the moon and represents a significant time of transformation in her painting style and technical abilities.
“This work was included in my 2020 solo exhibition ‘Metanoia’, held at Analogue Academy, and I decided to keep the work for myself because I love it so much and every time I look at it I know that further growth and transformation is possible at any moment”.
If you’d like to explore more of Jenna Kernaghan’s work, you can shop her art via: www.jennakernaghan.com