04: Judith Dean


Dead End


Acrylic and lapis lazuli on paper stretcher, 25.5 x 30.5cm, 2021

Since 2017 I’ve been making paintings based on images mostly selected from the public domain on Wikimedia Commons, installing these into the picture plane to work with illusions of empty space, trying to bring the digital back to life.

I paint with my non-writing hand and aim to keep the act of painting to a minimum.

For Dead End, the search term ‘Via Dolorosa’ – the route Jesus is believed to have walked to his crucifixion –  led to the first image. The second was found under ‘Famine’, thinking of Jesus fasting in the desert before the Stations begin – and was from the 1943-44 famine in India, of a starving / dead boy and dog. Searching under ‘Mother’ came up with an image of a destitute woman, with 7 children, in 1930s California. Images of The Tomb of Kings, c. 2nd century, Petra, Jordan (now one of the most water deprived countries in the world), and the central motive of a fresco vault in Church Saint-Nicola-des-Champs, Paris, by Michel Corneille the Elder (1601-1664), were from the search terms ‘Tomb’ and ‘Resurrection’ respectively.

This painting can be seen as an illusion of a dead end, i.e. with painted images on each surface, and as a set of 5 individual illusions, with views through to other spaces.

judithdean.weebly.com   @dean.judith