Myra Jago

Obsessed with the duality of most things, I center my practice on the negotiating line between the real world and what is happening in our heads. Working in oils, I use mirroring and symmetry, where the real meets the reflected, to describe this dichotomy. Symmetry beguiles, whether duplicating a blue sky in a puddle or the horizon on a clear day, because of it’s ability to bypass logical thought and connect directly with the emotional limbic brain.

In painting, symmetry renders a subject groundless, autonomous and vulnerable at the same time. Finely detailed oil paintings and drawings tease out these notions in still life, landscape and portrait. I work realistically because I am commenting on real life.

Oil paintings are set on smooth uninterrupted surfaces, prepared by icing with ground and simultaneously sanding back the canvas/panel three or four times, causing edges to overflow. By eliminating traces of surface origin, the viewer is free to enter the painting without distraction.

Palindromes, mirrors, duality and symmetry all double up as terminology and subject matter. Drawings hang suspended in space, while sculptural pieces built from recycled or low-cost materials return the concept to three-dimensional form.

My influences include the work of neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran, theoretical physicist Alan Lightman, a mountain of TED talks and contemporary artist podcasts. My studio practice has greatly benefitted from a 6-month residency at The RHA School in 2015 and the generous practical advice of its Academicians. My work methodology has evolved partly through investigation into traditional atelier oil painting technique and partly through understanding my own sensibilities: a hardwired predisposition to colour, beauty and symmetry.