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Jen Roper

Revisiting moments of embarrassment in everyday life, the paintings explore a diaristic narrative of awkward encounters. The pictures take occupancy in reality, storytelling specific events and are reconstructed from memory. They purposefully make a spectacle of the uncomfortable and exploit the shame endured. Expressing the awkwardness when in at the centre of or witnessing the uncomfortable. I relate these small moments of dilemma to cringe comedy, playing on social awkwardness and mirroring the guilty pleasure found in watching them unfold. The comedic aspect of the paintings displays itself naturally, whilst working instinctively to allow humour to play out with deadpan expressions and blunt renditions.


I’m interested in exposure: an encounter goes awry and the protagonist (me); finds herself in the dreaded spotlight. These unpolished moments are a driving force for my practice, when the atmosphere is tense, and interactions become flawed. The figures are rigid and cartoonish imitating internal feelings of discomfort and emphasises a lighthearted approach to the depiction.

Courtesy of the artist’s website.