Guilaine Veneziani

Meet The Villagers

Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
41.6 x 41.6 cm

“I paint for the pleasure of creating what will attract and hold my eye, what will reveal the first threads of a story. Faces are particularly good for that when a gaze suddenly returns my own from the canvas. I came across these passport size photos pinned up the wall of a community centre in a crumbling village in China, a kind of registry of the village inhabitants, some of whom I saw walking the narrow streets that same day.

They were all elderly, all from an ancient rapidly disappearing China. As these people and their precious heritage were on the brink of vanishing from existence, I candidly tried to capture that precious echo of the past. I find the overall effect quite moving as I wonder how many of them are still here to allow us a glance at a rich history.”