The hydrangeas in our garden bear flowers of an unmarketable hue. The base colour is grubby, faded apple-green, like the upholstery on a collection-day couch. On top is a rash of rosacea pink. These are the colours not of romance, but of neglect and root damage caused by a neighbouring conifer. Yet every summer the starved shrubs divert massive resources to their mopheads. The flowers are layered like scales and the upper petals (they are actually sepals but let’s call them petals for now) shelter their understudies from the sun. And beneath each sunburnt, topmost petal is its own shadow, stencilled for perpetuity on the petal below, in a colour as pale and fresh and unblemished as a cabbage leaf. It’s magic.
I love these hydrangeas because they remind me of the enormous generosity represented in the act of blossoming. A flowering plant gives everything it has, even when it hasn’t enough. ‘This is my best’, says the plant in full bloom. And it is the generosity that is beautiful, as much as the material result.
This is what I see, and love, in Laura’s work: every painting is a blossom of her soul, and like my hydrangeas, every painting has her best. Her generosity shines brightly, even when the paint is dark and she is feeling dark inside, as she was, she told me, when some of these were painted. Bits of underpainting are visible in the final works, like cardigans half-buttoned and hair untied. Vulnerable, sensuous, earnest and disarming, Laura’s paintings have everything to give and nothing to prove. They are not shown so much as entrusted, and they make me feel worthy.
Flowering is an act of biological compulsion performed with the grace and humility of love. This is what I imagine painting must be like for Laura Jones.
‘Shadow and Soul’ by Laura Jones
Open 3 – 9 July 2014
87 Albert Street
For all enquiries about this exhibition, contact email@example.com
The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award is well established as one of Australia’s best loved and richest portrait prizes (eclipsed only by the Doug Moran and the Archibald). This biennial event, proudly sponsored by the Shirley Hannan Trust, is a celebration of realistic portraiture and attracts eminent practitioners from across Australia. The spiritual home of the Shirley Hannan is the Bega Valley Regional Gallery which, as a small cultural outpost in a relatively remote country town, is particularly proud to host such a significant and exciting event.
For a list of finalists go to : http://www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/page.asp?p=DOC-NKH-13-07-78
Exhibition runs 30 May- 5 July 2014
The beaten track refers to a much travelled path. Choosing this path usually results in security, predictability, planning, knowing where you are headed and how you are going to get there. This notion is comforting for some but a terrifying direct road to boredom for others.
Off the beaten track is part of The Boondocks Experiment: 2014, a festival for young people in the Hawkesbury and beyond. It brings together a group of young artists who instinctively knew there was another way and set out to find it.
They reinterpreted their built and natural environment, redefined its usefulness and ‘conquered the world’ in the process. This selection of works is a record of how the artists traversed land, city or mindscapes. Some of these artists have gone on to carve a livelihood from their arts practice others have gone on to have stellar careers. This exhibition is a celebration of fearless explorations and journeys that take you off the beaten track.
‘The Boondocks Experiment- Off the Beaten Track’ runs from 14 February – 13 April 2014 at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor, NSW
Curated by Tia McIntyre in collaboration with Elliot Jones
Photo from opening night by David Jones
Some recent articles on ‘Light is Fugitive’ at Gallery Ecosse:
The Design Files http://thedesignfiles.net/2014/02/laura-jones-light-is-fugitive/
Arent & Pyke In/ Out Design Blog http://inoutdesignblog.com/outabout-laura-jones-light-is-fugitive-2/
light is fugitive
8 FEBRUARY – 21 MARCH 2014
‘Halcyon’ Exeter Road Exeter NSW 2579
(opposite Exeter General Store & Cafe)
+61 2 4883 4466 firstname.lastname@example.org
open fri – sat 10am – 5pm
sun 10am – 3pm or by appointment
EFFLORESCENT – a Contemporary Take
31 January – 12 April 2014
Efflorescent is definitely not just about a vase of flowers. A contemporary take on a floral exhibition, it looks at the many ways artists are moved to create works from their connection with flora, whether it is a literal representation, a borrowing of an organic form or the use of plant materials as a medium.
Artists include; Tony Ameneiro, Leonie Andrews, Jason Benjamin, Nicolette Benjamin Black, Susannah Blaxill, Lucy Culliton, Janna Ferris, Harriet Goodall, James Guppy, Fiona Hiscock, Laura Jones, Tony Lennon, Heidi McGeoch, Julian Meagher, Emilie Patteson, Carolyn Sullivan, Shona Wilson
Opening Friday 31 January @ 6pm
My painting Millie has been selected as a semi finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. A gallery of the semi finalists can be viewed on the Moran website here: http://www.moranprizes.com.au/
My painting Cowboy has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Portia Geach Memorial Award.
As stated on the Trust Company website:
The Portia Geach Memorial Award is a celebration of female Australian artists. It’s Australia’s most prestigious portrait prize for female artists and has greatly contributed to the development of female artists in this country.
It was established by Florence Kate Geach in 1961 in memory of her sister, Portia Geach and is awarded each year to the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters or the Sciences.
A record number of finalists year-on-year have been selected for the shortlist of Australia’s most recognised portrait prize for women, the Portia Geach Memorial Award, with its trustee – The Trust Company – today announcing 58 finalists.
The judging panel for 2013 is comprised of Jane Watters, Director S.H Ervin Gallery; Dr Lindy Lee, Senior Lecturer, Sydney College of the Arts; and Artist Ben Quilty.
My painting Cherry Dell Flowers is currently part of a group exhibition of still lives at Olsen Irwin Gallery in Woollahra, Sydney. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and ceramics and runs from 18 September – 6 October 2013.