Floppy Rainbow, 2022
Oil on canvas
About the Artist
Zena Blackwell (b.1977, Welsh British) is a visual artist whose work investigates various themes pertaining to childhood, be it her own experience of childhood and parenthood or general observations of her own two children. Zena is interested in the evolving dynamics between her children; their relationship with the environment, animals and the world in general (and all that it presents). Children can be strange and beautiful but also funny but melancholy. The presence of children in Zena's work provides glimpses into imagination, fantasy; story telling and sometimes surrealism, identity and gender definitions. Although recognisable faces often crop up in her works, Zena does not consider them as portraits with the character's representing a universal portrayal of children/ childhood. She often find that the paintings are very relatable to other people - so they almost become like shared memories or a shared lexicon of childhood. Zena lives and works in Cardiff, UK.
About the Artwork
This painting of a child that is in a heightened reality landscape questions children’s perceptions of situations and gently nods to my climate crisis anxiety, but also, I feel presents some optimism. Rainbows always capture children’s imagination (and they carry so many connotations). I wanted the painting to be whimsical but also something that could be a glimpse into a child’s imagination.