Wendy Jane Bantam (b. 1969)
The initial desire to paint comes from my wish to communicate language of nature through color and energy. The paintings tend toward more abstract sensibilities. This allows the source of imagery and story to recede and in it’s place, indulge in a more speculative and poetic visual imagery that relies on chance and expressive technique.
Nature relies on dynamic qualities. In drawing and painting this translates as marks, textures, and color as a means to express vitality and living energy.
I have always had a fascination with Abstract Expressionism, Japanese Ukiyo-e artists and the woodblock print tradition. The work of Hiroshige (53 Stations of Tokaido) and Hokusai (36 Views of Mount Fuji) are especially relevant in their endeavour to capture the vitality of landscape in a comprehensive series of works. Van Gogh’s vibrant, energetic approach to mark making have also guided me.
I have been described as a colorist, a magical realist, a symbolist, and abstract expressionist.
Hailing from the landscape of her childhood, Wendy Jane Bantam grew up in the Mirage Flats on the western edge of the Nebraska Sandhills. As a girl, she imagined surrealistic worlds which combined tales from the Lakota Sioux and the natural world.
Today, Bantam’s vivid imagination is conveyed by her brushstrokes and the mythology of regions where she has been a resident artist; Turkey, Indonesia, and England. Rich and textured with layers of paint and color, Bantam’s canvases are filled with personal iconography which lend to her work’s signature narrative quality of magical science fiction storytelling.
Bantam received her BFA degree from the University of Kansas and her MFA degree in painting from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is a visiting lecturer on creativity and critical thinking and an Artist~in~Residence with the Lied Center for Performing Arts and The Kennedy Center. Her home studio is in Nebraska.