Tiny Tent challenges Emin and Chapman Brothers

Tents are in the air! ' Inaugural show of miniatures and 'minstallations', by Elizabeth Jones, including her 'Bigger than Tracey' series, boldly challenges Emin's 'Everyone I've ever slept with' and the Chapman's replicas with teasing tiny tent.
June 1, 2009 - PRLog -- Limner (contemporary miniaturist) Elizabeth Jones drags this traditional British art form into the 21st Century with her first show running from 11th June to end July at Lizzie Limner’s, Marazion, Cornwall. Entitled ‘Up Close and Impersonal’, it comprises a mixture of thirty-two miniatures and 3D works she calls ‘minstallations’, including an audio piece.

Within her provocatively titled series ‘Bigger than Tracey’ is Jones’s response to Tracey Emin’s famous tent, ‘Everyone I’ve ever Slept with’. Entitled 'Revisionist History: Everything you've ever slept with', it'son sale for fifty times less than the £150,000 Charles Saatchi reportedly paid for Emin’s piece.  The tiny multicoloured appliquéd tent may well attract bargain hunting art investors. Jones has also reinterpreted Emin's famous bed and neon work and includes a portrait of Emin entitled 'Tracey, Mother, sensing deathless Life'.

Coincidentally, and somewhat uncannily, while Emin was painting her latest 'shocker' for her new show (headless woman masturbating) Jones was painting a miniature entitled 'Coming Together Beautifully - Thank You Tracey' (headless orgasmic woman). Jones feels this is the highlight of the piece, particularly in its use of neon paint that literally makes the subject glow.

Jones is not alone in feeling it’s time for a re-evaluation of ‘small art’ but recognises its unpopularity – surmising that in the case of miniatures it may be due to the technical ability required. Jones believes it’s a skill worth acquiring, and Art Critic Philip Hensher reviewing the ‘Tate Triennial 2009’ begs artists to consider the merits of ‘going small’, ‘One might suggest to artists that the really bold gesture would be to make something small-scale, refined and rather quiet. After all, the one way, we all know, to get someone’s attention is to lower your voice and force them to lean in towards you... I can see a violent reaction to museum art coming over the next hill in the wake of the credit crunch .’ (Mail on Sunday, 22nd Feb 09)  Perhaps ‘Up Close and Impersonal’ signals the start of that reaction.

Making the anarchic accessible and absorbing, the show ranges from the traditional to irreverent, demonstrating that little mouthfuls can deliver big flavours. The ‘Four Virgins’ Triptych, depicting a pregnant and mature nude facing a sliver of mirror is a good example. Our reflected eye demands we become the fourth ‘virgin’ making subject and object one.  Demonstrating Hensher’s point, there’s an undertone of immediacy and intimacy which is exactly why Jones revels in exploiting the medium. She says, ‘Why is working in miniature dismissed as being for artists painting portraits or pretty scenes?  I flippantly commented that it needs ‘an Emin’ to take the art form forward, and it ignited the whole ‘Bigger than Tracey’ series, dovetailing perfectly with the show’s theme – the possibility that life is so intimately BEING that relationship is seen to be nothing but a supposition.’  

Lizzie Limner’s is the suitably miniscule basement studio where - from June 11th - the public are welcome to watch her limning and learn more about this exacting and neglected great British art genre. Watch this small space...

Comment, artist's blog and image: http://lizzielimner.blogspot.com

Note to Editors:

Elizabeth Jones studied at Wimbledon Art School but, like many miniaturists, is otherwise self-taught. Past portrait subjects include Christopher Palmer-Tomkinson and military historian, Julian Thompson. In parallel with Emin, Jones also paints with words (‘Simply This’, Simply This Publishing, 2005) although their backgrounds couldn’t be more different. She is also a former City voice coach (once described by Christopher Fildes of The Daily Telegraph as ‘Cazenove’s Queen Bee’) and used to live in the famously diminutive ‘Hat Box’ in Knightsbridge, London.

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Lizzie Limner's is the studio of Elizabeth Jones, a contemporary artist creating miniatures and 'minstallations'. Her work challenges assumptions with immediacy in a manner new to the genre. 'Tracey Emin of this tradition, making the anarchic accessible.'

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