John Kent (1989) was born in Cork, graduating from the Crawford College of Art & Design in 2012 he was awarded the Graduate Residency award for his degree show. Since then, he has produced four solo exhibitions across the country and has participated in numerous group shows. Recently, in 2018, he completed an MA in Art & Process at the Crawford College of Art and Design and was awarded the Individual Artist Bursary by the Cork City Council in 2020. Kent’s work is influenced by the idea of language, its interpretation through consciousness, and cognitive mechanisms behind the act of understanding. In utilising the language of painting, his intention is to convey a tangible understanding to the more innate qualities of human existence.
I am fascinated and influenced by various disciplines (such as neuroscience, philosophy and psychology) that observe the mind. I am therefore, becoming increasingly influenced by the concept of modern hermeneutics, the philosophy of interpretation through the lens of existentialism. Using these as a departure point, I approach painting with curiosity, testing the boundaries of the very medium of painting and creating a common ground between academic and artistic practice. I implement various techniques like the application and removal of paint to create a heavily layered and intense sense of history in my work. While final layers give the impression of spontaneity, there is a labour that is visible and bares an earnest truth. My paintings are multi-layered, abstract works that invite interpretation from the viewer and seem austere and enigmatic at first glance. This serves as a function to lead the viewer into experiencing the very phenomena I am influenced by.