Jean Foulds is an abstract painter and sculptor living and working in West Cornwall. Raised in Derbyshire, Jean spent many happy times in Cornwall as a child and remembers seeing Barbara Hepworth directing the loading of a sculpture onto a lorry outside the old dance hall in St. Ives. This inspirational memory together with other experiences and artistic influences have drawn her back to Penwith over the years.
Jean's artistic background is in three-dimensional work, but her M.A. research study involved children’s emergent drawing, and the measurement of mental age through creativity. She became fascinated by the amazingly articulate symbols used by young children, who reveal their knowledge and concepts through their drawings as they grow towards our culture. She developed a respect for their ability to convey information with the minimum of symbols, which with increasing literacy is lost in children as they begin to draw what they see, rather than what they know.
Working in the abstract is for Jean a similar intellectual journey; it facilitates intense description of aspects of reality which are inaccessible in representational art. It allows her to express the reality of what she knows and feels, rather than merely to represent a perceived picture; and it allows a freedom of imaginative response for the audience in the search for meaning. Much of her work is influenced by the human form, dance, music, the rhythm of the sea, and by the feeling of being at one with the Penwith coastal landscape.
“All my early memories are of forms and shapes and textures [...] Feelings about ideas and people and the world all about us struggle inside me to find the evocative symbol ...”