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Jennifer Chalklen
Jennifer Chalklen

From a very early age I have always been creating in some way, you could say it’s just part of my soul, part of who I am. It has always been a dream of mine to become an artist. Not all people get to live their dream as I am now. I have never had any formal training in drawing or painting. What I do now has come through trial and error and a lot of hours; some days I find myself still painting in the wee small hours having not noticed the time.
“I loved exploring creativity since I was very small. I began experimenting with resene testpots while I was living in Wellington, creating abstract works on canvas occasionally, but I never felt happy with my finished works because I didn’t develop a definitive style or find it to be a very accurate tool of self expression at that point in time. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to my works, I just enjoyed the process of creating.” Take the girl out of Auckland and she ends up in Singapore or, initially at least, Indonesia. It’s amazing how a move can change your thinking process or style. In Jennifer’s case, this is when some passion and inspiration really started to take flight. “It wasn’t until I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia with two young children for my husband’s job that I began to develop an interest in learning realistic oil portraits. I think it was a reaction to the chaotic environment I found myself living in, with bomb threats, flooding, protests and snipers hanging out on rooftops, the list goes on… “The environment I was living in in Jakarta was chaotic, messy and sometimes frightening, so I needed an antithesis to the life that was happening outside, inside my studio.” From the somewhat chaotic existence of Indonesia to the more refined areas of Singapore, this feeling and the motivation behind her works started to evolve and take shape, with inspiration coming from many different quarters. The change of atmospheres, melded together many different environments, created varying points of inspiration.
Jennifer Chalklen

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