Paintings by Jarvis Brookfield that explore what it means to be human

Toy Maker, 2020 © Jarvis Brookfield. All images courtesy of the artist.

In Jarvis Brookfield's latest series of paintings, the Leicester-based artist questions what it means to be human. With faceless figures, aged masks and rays of pastel-coloured light, his artworks feature themes of Eastern mysticism and altered states of consciousness.

Jarvis equally finds himself drawn to the mythological stories and artefacts of ancient societies – another huge influence for the work, entitled Harbouring Delights. "The paintings are like worlds which explore the varying subtle energies of my subconscious mind, populated by faceless figures who are at the mercy, wheel of or bearing witness to these enigmatic spaces," Jarvis explains.

Brookfield began each painting with a small graphite drawing that was created "without the use of reference material" but instead emerged from a process which "depended upon memory and intuition". Jarvis says that he rarely has a preconceived idea of what he will make and instead trusts that the images will present themselves through dialogue while drawing.

For the colours, Jarvis prefers to work instinctively. "I'll have a basic colour in mind and from there I enjoy focusing on the relationships between colours while considering a sense of cohesiveness," he adds.

Harbouring Delights, 2020 © Jarvis Brookfield

Harbouring Delights, 2020 © Jarvis Brookfield

Unwavering II, 2020 © Jarvis Brookfield

Unwavering II, 2020 © Jarvis Brookfield

Jarvis working on his charcoal drawings. © Jarvis Brookfield

Jarvis working on his charcoal drawings. © Jarvis Brookfield

Jarvis in his studio. © Jarvis Brookfield

Jarvis in his studio. © Jarvis Brookfield