Henny Acloque

Henny Acloque was born in 1979, and lives and works in London. Acloque studied at University West of England where she gained a BA in Fine Art in 2002, and went on to gain her MA Painting Royal College of Art London in 2018. Acloque was featured in the recent Thames and Hudson publication of 100 painters of Tomorrow. Acloque’s works reference old masters such as Bosch, Bruegel and Durer and explore the fragility of life. Landscapes are a heavy fixture of her paintings, but they are not just landscapes, Acloque will often use layers of paint and varnish as well as encapsulating curious creatures and symbolic, recurring motifs drawn from memories and myths.

88, 2011, Mixed media on canvas, 9.8 x 7.9 in. / 25 x 20 cm

In the painting above simply named ’88’ Acloque has created a rather traditional looking landscape which has an element of movement, you can feel the changing winds and clouds and movement in the branches and water, and then juxtaposed against this natural setting a floating square or cube of stationary bold colour. Acloque beautifully combines the old with the new which seems to be a recurring theme I have experienced through working on ‘Understanding Painting Media’ with the Open College of Arts. With Genieve Figgis recreating traditional works of aristocracy into reimagined often eerie paintings, and my own contemporary twist, painting my niece in the style of Diego Velázquez. I find the concept of this quite exciting and its encouraging me to delve a little more into historic and traditional works which previously I would have veered away from finding them a little dry and unexciting but actually I think this was wrong of me to be so dismissive.

180b, 2011, Mixed media on canvas, 100.4 x 72.8 in. / 255 x 185 cm

Here is another example of Acloque’s traditional landscape painting technique juxtaposed with a contemporary splash of colour. I had specifically looked at the works of Acloque for this next assignment which is looking at Tondo’s – a Renaissance term for a circular work of art, either a painting or a sculpture.

Above is my response to Acloque’s work ’88’. My edges aren’t quite as neat as Acloque’s as I was painting on a drawn circular shape rather than physical circular canvas or board. I quite like that movement that it’s added to the painting though due to the uneven edges of the tondo. I really enjoyed painting this response using quite fluid acrylic and a filbert brush, the colours seemed to glide along the page. Perhaps this was also in part because I had been working a lot with oil paints which feel so drastically different to work with, I enjoyed the return to acrylic.

Lastly here is my response to Acloque’s ‘180b’ . I found this a little more difficult and less enjoyable to paint than the previous painting which highlighted to me actually how I really like the circular surface and fluid movements, this painting clearly has more straight edges and is more man made. I did however like the ‘icing on the cake’ at the very end of the three bold colourful brush marks. I’m learning with each research task and response how working in quite a fluid and gestural way really appeals to me, and it’s ok to not necessarily paint in a realist way.

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