"I was born in South Africa and settled in London in 1979. Studies at Goldsmith’s College were followed by an MA degree at the Royal College of Art. During this period, two travel awards – the 1987 Basil Alkazzi Travel Scholarship to Greece and the 1988 Rome Scholarship in Painting – made a significant contribution to the development of my work.
"Since then I have exhibited regularly, principally at the Crane Kalman Gallery in London. I paint full time. Presently I am based in London, but spend periods of each year working in France and Australia, where my family has settled.
"My work has been fuelled by childhood memories of growing up in an African landscape of extraordinary splendour. Since leaving South Africa, I have travelled extensively in search of hot, light-filled landscapes.
"I feel a deep affinity with the ancient, both geological and cultural. I have drawn much from the elemental and mythical languages of early civilizations. In addition, the idea of genesis, as primeval beginnings is a recurring theme in my work.
"Central to my work is the notion of palimpsest. It was the “layering of history” on the ancient walls in Rome – with their residual fragments in odd juxtapositions – that first drew me to this idea. It has become for me a metaphor for my working method, in the sense of imagery evolving through a process of emergence and submergence."
The Art Wall, Kensington Place, London
2011, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1998, 1995, 1993
Crane Kalman Gallery, London
Gallery 7, Hong Kong
Crane Gallery, London
Anne Berthoud Gallery, London
Creaser Gallery, London
Flowers East, London
Women & Art, Crane Kalman Gallery, London
Watercolour, Tate Gallery, London
Something Personal, Charles Hewitt Gallery, Sydney
2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 1995, 1994, 1993
The Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition
British Art Fair, London
Absolut Secret, Royal College of Art, London
The London Group Biennale
Abstractions, Art First, London
Water Colour, Curwen Gallery, London
Mostra 1989, The British School at Rome
Contemporary Art Society Market, London
The London Influence, Slaughterhouse Gallery, London
The London Group, Royal College of Art, London
Contemporary British Watercolours, Bankside Gallery, London
Images For Today, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield
British Drawing Show, Hayward Gallery, London
'Jenny Franklin, who was born in South Africa in 1949, has lived in Australia and in Italy, as a Rome Scholar, and has travelled on painting trips to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, the east and west coasts of America, China and France. If this sounds restless and nomadic, the deduction is false. Her journeying seems to be the product of an ardent need to experience, above all to experience space and light. Her native country, however murky its politics, has the clearest and purest light in the world, and something of that radiant distancing is shared with us in Franklin’s work
It is landscape art become abstract: landscape of the spirit, opening up to an awareness of sheer physical beauty which is the only contact offered us to attain the non-physical. In an age when beauty is a dangerous word, and young artists are careful to protect themselves by irony and even cynicism, this austere acceptance of beauty and disciplined eagerness to embrace it is what makes Franklin’s work so profoundly satisfying.’
Sister Wendy Beckett