Jacqueline Utley

Sourced from biological and archival material, workers’ information, art historical sources, magazines and journals, Jacqueline Utley’s dreamlike paintings are populated with quietly self-contained women. They relax on furniture, engage in contemplation, play musical instruments, and tend to children. The palette is both undeniably surrealist and gendered. It’s as though a feminist voice is reappropriating the dreamscape from the male-dominated voices of the Surrealist tradition.


Building a narrative, Utley works over the course of six to eight months, researching, drawing, building in collage elements and working in watercolor before turning to oil. “I work in clusters, groups, series,” she says. “I become very incolved and attached when making the painting--to the women and the rooms/spaces where the conversations take place.”


In some way one cannot identify the medium-- there is an ephemeral, pastel quality to her paint that is almost autobiographical in nature. Utley herself had children young, and found it very difficult to paint-- “like a lot of women at art school during the eighties I questioned whether I should paint,” she says. “I worked more on a project basis.” Now that her children are grown, she’s returned to painting full-time.


Jacqueline Utley lives and works in London. Utley received her B.A. (Hons) in Painting from Chelsea School of Art and a M.A. in Drawing from the Camberwell School of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include Nancy’s Rooms, St Marylebone, London (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Stardust Boogie Woogie, Monika Bobinska, London (2010), Prognostic Bridewell, APT Gallery, London (2010), BLANK PROMISCUITY, part of Deptford X, London (2012), and Real Lives, Painted Pictures, an exhibition traveling to The Crypt Gallery, London (2016) and The Cut Gallery, Halesworth (2017). She was an exhibition finalist in the Fringe:mk Painting Prize, Milton Keynes (2009). Recent projects include Suppose an Eyes, a project devised in collaboration with Lady Lucy and Flora Whiteley, touring to Alpha Nova- Galerie Futura, Berlin; Transition Gallery, London; and Vane, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (2013), Obscure Secure, in collaboration with Hayley Field and Claudia Boese, Wolsey Gallery, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich (2014).