Cover Story

By Annie Sebel

As skilled with a pair of secateurs as she is a paintbrush, Laura Jones’ past moonlighting as a florist, while she studied at COFA, has informed her still-life paintings. Jones collects flowers, vases and sets up little vignettes for her observation- based studio practice. There’s an ease to her arrangements and composition, which is offset with vibrant colours and energetic marks that bring a liveliness to her work, moving it into the contemporary. A talented portrait painter, Jones says she was drawn back to flowers for her ‘Wildflower’ exhibition due to their symbolism. “We hold a nostalgic attachment to the European flowers that have been with us since early white settlement,” says Jones. “Our fondness for them comes from a romantic ideal of ‘home’, still visible in our own gardens, detached from the bush… So in contrast to the reverence for the rose, we claim the wildflower when we want to identify ourselves as Australian, they are expressions of our Australian-ness, a tool to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the world.”

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