Jenny Webb, BA Hons ATC

Born London 1950

1968 - 69 Pre Diploma, Berkshire College of Art, Maidenhead
1969 - 71 BA Hons, Fine Art, Leeds College of Art
1971 - 72 Art Teachers Certificate, Goldsmiths College
1972 - 80 Teacher of Art, Catford County School
1980 - 82 Deputy Head of Art, Furzedown School, Tooting
1982 - 85 Head of Art, Furzedown School, Tooting
1985 - to date Area Programme Manager, Creative Studies, Kent Adult Education Service
1991 - Assistant Principle Moderator - Art Edexcel
1992 - Contributor Artist Magazine
1998 South East Arts Education Advisor
1999 Watercolour Challenge Channel 4 - Guest expert, 2 specials

About Jenny Webb by Brian Yale, ARCA Artist and Designer

I have known Jenny for the past fifteen years or so, and as so often happens in life it was a chance meeting of friends who brought us together. I responded to Jenny immediately. She has an openness and generosity of spirit which is not common in our profession, or as I prefer to describe it,”our condition”, and these characteristics underpin her work. I’ve seen her in full flow as a teacher, and it would be hard to find a more inspiring one, but for these notes I must concentrate on her pictures.

Fashions come and go, what gets puffed up for one season is a footnote in the next, but the post second war period has produced one undeniable certainty namely the recognition of the feminine viewpoint in art. It has been a long time coming, but with its arrival groups of artists in all fields have reshaped the way we see the world. It cannot be described as a style, it is simply an aspect of the universal language of art, nevertheless it is something we should take into account, and for my own part, work by women artists and designers in the modern period can speak for itself. To name but a few, Anon, Gwen John, Frances Hodkins, Laura Knight, Barbara Hepworth, Winifred Nicholson, Bridget Riley, Elizabeth Frink, Paula Rego, Tracy Emin etc. Stylistically they have little in common but they share and explore the female dimension in life, and along with such illustrious company, so does Jenny.
Her subject matter is as old as the painted image itself, still life, an arrangement of objects strewn across a surface bringing joy, recognition and delight to the viewer. But in this case, rather than being “still” it is abundant with flowers, fruit, shells, textiles and everyday objects often overlooked, but which in the reality are the flux of life.
Pastels or watercolour on paper are her chosen media, these she handles with great skill and care, keeping a fresh spontaneity in the work which looks deceptively easy when it is well done, but therein lies the artist’s sleight of hand. The pictures are rich and full of visual texture, but jenny also has a strong sense of design and decorative effect, and that has not been fashionable in art for a very long time, but if we look closely it has never quite gone away either. It is the bit in art which brings us joy and that is in short supply in much current practices. For this I take my hat off to jenny, striving to produce joyful pictures as did Dufy, Matisse, Klee and Winifred Nicholson, is a wonderful antidote to the anxiety so clearly seen in other work, and it is just as potent a force and life enhancing as it ever was, and no doubt will be long into the future. These are good pictures and a joy to have.