ref: j7q Mar 10-24 2012 GUILDFORD HOUSE GALLERY Jessie Mahtani (née Semple) - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index




10th March 24th March 2012

155 High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3AJ, Open 10.00 – 16.45 Mondays – Saturdays,

A lifetime of quiet dedication from one of

Surrey‟s most painterly of painters provides

the body of work for this forthcoming

exhibition in Guildford. It‟s a unique

opportunity to see 33 paintings and 13

drawings from an artist whose integrity and

dedication shines through in her work.

Jessie studied at the Slade School, before

winning a scholarship to the Ecole des

Beaux Arts. On her return to the UK she

became a tutor at Liverpool College of Art.

In the late 70‟s, married and with a young

family, Jessie moved back into her old family

home in Surrey, where she has continued

to paint landscape and urban subjectson

her doorstep‟. She recognizes the value and

discipline of life drawing and still regularly

attends a weekly class.

“Half Figure against Window 1998

77x57 cms (HxW with frame)

Jessie paints extremely slowly – some paintings have taken over 3 years to complete, as she waits for

a certain season and light to return. Her work is what she sees with her own eyes. She says:

„I do not include the flattened patterns of photographic imagery, as I wish to show how I

„bump‟ into the nearest sides of objects as I journey through the space in the picture. This

adventure is the focus of my work.

I have a loft studio halfway up a hill, which explains my tendency to paint rooftop subjects: as

they go back, they eventually disappear into the distant views of the North Downsa very

different perspective from the unseen roads beneath.

Before applying oil paint, Jessie primes her boards herself with Egg Tempera: the slight absorbency

draws the paint, offering a soft, luminous quality of colour. There are no hard edges in her images,

and the subtle use of light creates something other-worldy, out of ordinary, everyday views and

objects. Although Jessie is greatly inspired by traditional artists, her own works are fresh and


“Still Life on Window Sill 2011

26x44 cms (HxW with frame)

“Jar of Honey” 2006

41x12 cms (HxW with frame)

“With Hands Behind Head Graphite 2001

43x56 cms (HXW with frame)

Jessies work has been on view at the Mall Galleries, London: in the New English Art Club, the

National Portrait Gallery Awards, the Painter Stainer and the Threadneedle Exhibitions. This is her

first major one-woman exhibition. For further information, please email, or visit