If the image in a photo represents a frozen moment in time, the process of painting is a way of slowing time down and holding it still. For me, painting is a particularly slow, incremental process. There is a gradual building up of layers and layers of colour washes before the brush strokes and then more layers. The mark is held in time, as are the thoughts centred on the painting during its making. The canvas is both the simple surface of things as well as their depths.

Rosemary Joynt, Garden Galaxies, Oil on Belgian Linen, 51 x 61cm, 2022

Scrolling through thousands of photos on my phone and choosing the ones that resonate most, I select them and put them in a folder marked “possible paintings”. They are photos taken in a nearby park, my garden at night, a nature reserve or gardens I have visited. They are a starting point, but what compels me to paint from these images in a world that is fraught with crisis? Perhaps it is an antidote to the political, a way to condense stillness in the midst of chaos and a possible retreat in times of anxiety. As ‘Olafur Eliasson puts it, “We need a moment of relief, of beauty, of letting go in order to conceive of a better tomorrow. Before you have hope, you have to have relief”.

The changing light brings a procession of sensations through the day and the seasons. The early morning winter light hovers as though the world is just coming into being, or could dissolve and disappear. Midday in summer brings shimmering sunlight and a flood of dazzling, saturated colour. Twilight is an intermediate state of soft reflection, half-shadow and ambiguity. Darkness is a time of looming forms, of mystery and imagination.

My intention was to evoke the feeling of particular places and times, rather than simulating literal pictures of them. Perhaps it is a wish to condense and prolong the experience when faced with the knowledge that the natural world is shrinking. As Arundhati Roy writes, “There is beauty yet in this brutal, damaged world of ours. Hidden, fierce, immense. Beauty that is uniquely ours and beauty that we have received with grace from others, enhanced, reinvented and made our own. We have to seek it out, nurture it, love it.”

The exhibition Space To Breath opens Saturday 2nd September 2023 at 11:00 for 11:30
Exhibition closes 30th September 2023


‘Olafur Eliasson, THE LONELY PALETTE, podcast Episode 52, 2017
Arundhati Roy, THE COST OF LIVING, 1999

Rosemary Joynt, Twilight, Oil on Canvas, 91.5 x 122cm, 2023


Rosemary Joynt, Secret Territory, Oil on Belgian linen, 100 x 120cm, 2022


Rosemary Joynt, Brugmansia, Oil on Belgian linen, 95 x 80cm, 2023


Rosemary Joynt, Drenched in Green, Oil on canvas, 140 x 100cm, 2023