Jasper Pedyo was born in 1995, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. Due to his mother’s political activism, Jasper’s childhood home was burnt down. Fearing for her life, his mother made the difficult decision to leave her children in Zimbabwe and became a refugee in England. During this estrangement from his mother, Jasper moved around Zimbabwe, along with his siblings, staying with relatives and anybody willing to accommodate them. At the age of eight he moved with his sisters to South Africa and several years later, moved to the UK, where he was finally reunited with his mother, settling down together in Leeds, and then Barnsley. As one of the few African children at his school, he encountered a difficult time there. However, through the encouragement of his art teacher and Saturday’s spent at Leeds College of Art he developed an all-consuming passion for the visual arts and “a compulsion to make things”. On leaving the school he spent one-year studying Furniture Design at De Montfort University, Leicester. However, he increasingly felt drawn to return to Leeds College of Art (now known as Leeds Arts University), where he spent the next three years, graduating in fine art this summer.
Jasper Pedyo’s paintings are highly influenced by the philosophy of Alexander Baumgarten, who coined the term ‘aesthetics’ in 1735. Aestheticism, to Jasper, is very important.
“I intend to provide the viewer with an environment of visual bliss; the work’s purpose is to be experienced solely with an instinctive and physical response to its structure, colour, and surrounding space. The combination of binary colour and textures are used to absorb and reflect light, the viewer, by means of their own reflection in the lacquered black inserts, able to perceive themselves in the work.”
Jasper’s work aims for visual harmony, reminding the audience of the material and ethereal nature of painting. The tension in the shaped canvas accentuates the surface and texture of the paintings, the stretchers providing a framework for the 3d canvas structures, into which, flat, high gloss panels are inserted. His use of bold symbols of a cross, square and circle recognise art’s formal elements, as well as referencing buttons used on console controllers.