As a child in the south, Jannell Turner would retreat to the woods and find solitary spots to contemplate the world around her. As an adult in Brooklyn, those woods have been replaced by her art studio where quiet moments of solitude give rise to her paintings which never stray too far from the forests of her childhood.
“In my work, I explore psychological emotions associated with being inside the woods,” says Turner. “Enchantment, innocence and danger.” Her paintings also point to graver environmental issues of our times: deforestation, climate change and preservation.
Turner interweaves thin layers of paint, gestural marks and blocks of color to depict abstract representations of space. As a starting off point, she begins new work with plein air sketches in forests throughout the eastern United States. Then, in her Brooklyn studio, the paintings evolve to take on a poetic narrative of their own. Chaos, exhilaration, stillness and harmony collide and dance in these forests.
Turner attended Hunter College and New York Studio School for Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Her paintings have exhibited in group shows in NYC and Memphis. In 2013, her Brooklyn debut solo exhibition nearly sold out. Recently, she has been selected for a prominent Fabergé public art event, called The Big Egg Hunt NY, which includes Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, Jennifer Bartlett, and April Gornik. It will culminate in a charity fundraising auction at Sotheby’s in April 2014.