On a Friday morning, we drove out to the Waitakere Ranges to meet Jen Sievers at her home studio where she paints. Surrounded by lush greenery is where Jen has created a collection of Goddesses for her upcoming show at endemicworld ‘Goddess Rising’. We spoke to Jen about her show and how she has come back to painting portraits after a long break from it.
7th November – 17th November
Thursday 7th November, 6-8pm
62 Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art background? Did you always want to be an artist?
I’ve wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. I used to spend hours and hours drawing when I was young. I took a quick 15-year detour past being a graphic designer and found my way back into painting about four years ago. I haven’t been able to stop painting since.
2. What are some of the ideas behind your show ‘Goddess Rising’?
I’ve painted a series of goddesses from a range of cultures. I’ve depicted them in contemporary colour and style, in the hope of bringing them into a context that people can relate to. I hope to bridge gaps of time and culture – encouraging viewers to awaken and empower their own feminine energies, inspired by these Goddesses and their stories.
There’s quite a Goddess movement showing up at the moment. Women are embracing their warrior strength, along with their kindness and compassion. For so long now, history and mythology have focused on the masculine archetype. The world has been operating from a predominantly masculine/yang energy, and some believe it is now shifting to a yin/feminine state – led by our collective consciousness. One by one as we embrace the yin, we contribute to a new balance.
3. What inspired you to create this show?
I’ve always loved depicting strong women in my portraits – I love how people tell me they feel inspired by looking at them. Over the last year or two, I’ve been learning a lot about energy and consciousness. Within that learning, there are often fascinating stories about gods and goddesses from all sorts of traditions. I was listening to an interview with Jane Houston about goddess archetypes, and how we can use them as inspiration to overcome difficulties or enrich our lives. It was like a lightning bolt went off in my head. I had to paint goddesses! I think that as a society we’ve lost a lot by forgetting their powerful stories, and I’d like to remind people.
4. How is this work different from your last show at endemicworld ‘A Life Exotic’?
‘Goddess Rising’ represents an evolved portrait style for me. The shapes that make up the portraits are more minimal, each with a more limited colour palette (but still bright and intense). I’ve also included more pattern. The subject matter has changed, offering more symbolism and a mythological feeling. This show is also entirely portraits and the female form – where ‘A Life Exotic’ also included some abstract work.
5. What can people expect to see at ‘Goddess Rising’?
My first set of new portraits in ages! I’ve painted a great selection of large and medium scale portraits and a set of six smaller, more minimal paintings. They’ll also see my Goddess Eyes! They’re small original artworks on laser cut perspex – perfect to hang on a wall or use on a shelfie. I’m also hoping they’ll learn a little about, and be inspired by the Goddesses I’ve painted.