Sustainability in Art Practice
Finalist for painter of the year award
Singulart, a global online gallery for contemporary art based in Paris which represents 12,000 artists and designers from 110 countries, just had their 2nd SINGULART Awards. A jury composed of four international experts gave out four awards in the following categories: photography, painting, sculpture and design furniture. I was shortlisted along with 9 other artists for painter of the year.
The theme for the 2023 awards was: There is No Planet B. Climate change, biodiversity, natural resources. This year’s awards highlight artists and designers who integrate an eco-responsible approach into their work, aim to reconnect with nature, or rethink the future of our environment. Paintings inspired by organic patterns and natural landscapes. Incorporation of recycled materials.
If you're familiar with my work then painting organic patterns is probably pretty obvious, but what about how I use recycled materials, especially paper?
As artists, we have the unique opportunity to not only create beautiful pieces of art but also to make a difference in the world by considering the impact of our work on the environment. The art industry, like many others, contributes to the world's pollution and waste, but as artists, we can choose to adopt sustainable practices and use eco-friendly materials in our work.
One way as an artist I make my practice more sustainable is by using recycled paper in my artwork. Studio offcuts, household papers, I try to save as much as possible for use in future works to reduce the amount of waste from the studio.
Using recycled paper in my artwork also adds a unique aesthetic to the piece. The variations in color and texture can bring a new dimension to the art, one of my more unusual techniques is paper weaving with recycled strips to form the base for a painting.
Sustainability in my studio art practice extends beyond just using recycled paper, however. I reduce waste by reusing and repurposing many other materials and found objects. I use left over paint to cover my strips of paper to weave into new work later. And a big one - sustainable shipping and packaging. I choose to use recycled packaging materials sourced from places like my local framer, who saves large mailing tubes, and homewares shops that have big boxes and bubbles wrap left over from deliveries to their store. They don't always make the prettiest package I suppose but it's important to me to try and reuse materials as much as possible.
Thanks to Bluethumb Art, another featured work, this time my photographic weaving 'Family Tree' in their Curve Appeal collection.
"Sculptural curves are popping up more frequently in 2022 interiors. Everything from the design of furniture to vases is embracing a softer side, adding a rounded modern touch to contrast the geometrics of previous years. Take the edges out of your life with our new curation of sculptures, paintings and photographs that take curves to the max in 3 dimensions."
Play with Paper
The original art material, paper has long been a staple for practising artists. It is often the first thing artists reach for when they want to create. However paper’s usefulness goes beyond a surface to draw on. In Play with paper, artists exploit paper to push the medium to its limits. Through tearing, moulding, folding, marking and assembling, the works will present new ways of seeing and thinking about working with paper.
I liked this statement from the exhibition which I think explains quite well why I enjoy working with paper so much: Paper makes the world go round. The backbone of the modern world, paper holds knowledge in the form of books, stimulates economies through currency and communicates ideas between people. A blank sheet of paper can be a terrifying concept but it also presents a world of possibilities. Paper's versatility makes it the perfect medium for artists wanting to experiment by cutting, folding, tearing, burning, crumpling, gluing and assemblage.
You can find two of my works at the exhibition, 'Coral Forms' a small work using cut cardboard and acrylic, and 'Waterfall' a photograph woven with strips of recycled paper. I particularly liked these two works:
Play with Paper is showing from 14 June 10 17 August 2019 at Pine Rivers Art Gallery, Unit 7/199 Gympie Road, Strathpine 4500.
Milburn Art Prize
'Constructed' has been selected for the 2019 Milburn Art Prize. With the theme Landscape as a space of creative discovery this piece continues my abstract landscape work looking at the patterns left on the land through human action. The woven painted paper painting is made entirely from recycled paper pieces including some wallpaper offcuts. The very structured weaving is suggestive of mining or urbanisation seen from an aerial view.
You can see 'Constructed' from 3rd – 15th May at the Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, 41 Grafton Street, Windsor.
Regeneration is finally here! Wow it's been a lot of work the last few months putting together work for the inaugural Aspirant Collection Showcase and my solo show in August. I'm very excited to start sharing the finished work for the Regeneration exhibition and to say it's hung and ready to visit.
The exhibition is being held at Aspire Gallery in Brisbane where most people would have seen my woven landscapes over the past 18 months. So for this special group show I wanted to introduce something old and something new. My painted pattern work is an continuation of the weavings, inspired by nature, and my landscape painting was actually the main focus of my art practice for many years. It's been great picking up the paint brush again and I've got some interesting painting/weaving combinations coming up. In fact I'll be at the gallery on Sunday 24th working on a few new pieces along with other exhibiting artists if you get the chance, stop by and say hi.
My landscape work has always been a response to the patterns and textures found in nature, and in what I have titled my Regeneration collection to tie in with the show, it focuses on the Australian outback, mostly with an aerial perspective.
I enjoy working with an aerial view for landscapes as it highlights the commonality of patterns seen in nature and the reoccurring designs found at any scale, from the microscopic to the satellite. To show along side the landscapes I have produced a few pattern pieces inspired by tiny pollen grains seen through an electron microscope, the Mulla Mulla plant (sometimes called Pussytails) is widespread throughout mainland Australia and can often been found flowering in the desert.
The Australian outback is a rich tapestry of changing colours and patterns. Some of these same arrangements are found at the macro or microscopic level in the plants, water and rocks. Tiny dots of vegetation, wild flowers and shrubs, come and go or alter in shade with the seasons. Regenerated by rivers and creeks running like threads through the landscape.
Regeneration runs from 20th - 30th June 2018
Wednesday - Saturday 10:30am - 4:30pm
53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington
Opening Night is Saturday 23 June, 4pm - 6pm
Samford arts trail and demo
I'm so excited for June to have on show all together for the first time works from my new variegated series, plus, also for the first time I'll be taking part in the Samford and Surrounds Arts Trail and Open Studios!
From the 24th May-24th June you can find my work in the beautiful old Butter Factory building in Dayboro, just a short drive out of Brisbane, at the Mezzanine Gallery. On show is 'Natural Selection' a group exhibition. It really is a very unique space just above Entangle Living Art, the perfect spot to celebrate plants in art.
DEMO DAY: On Saturday 16th June from 10am I'll be at the gallery working on some new painted paper weavings. So pop by and say hello.
The gallery is open Wed-Sun 10-4pm at 38 Williams St, Dayboro.
Morton Bay Art Awards Finalist
More good arty news arrived this week. My photographic weaving 'Morton Bay Morning' has been selected as a finalist in this years Morton Bay Art Awards. The photograph has been woven with fine strips of blue paper in various shades to compliment the image. The zig zag weave highlights the pattern found in water ripples and adds a lovely feeling of depth and movement.
The exhibition runs from 19 - 27 May, Strathpine
SNAP18 photography in art
This month sees the SNAP photography exhibition at Brisbane's Aspire Gallery come round again for another year. I really like to make a point of taking part in this one as I feel it's so important to accept and celebrate photography as the art form it is; unfortunately there are too many art sites and competitions that don't allow photography in as though it is somehow less worthy.
This year I wanted to show a different way of using photography. Rather than the photo being the finished piece itself, it is the focal point and an important part of the art making process. Several images were mixed together to create an abstract background which then formed the basis for each of the artworks above. Both include the same selection of photographs - a piece of patterned fabric, paper scraps, a string of lights and the studio desk covered in paint. Together they combine with some images of green watercolour washes to make the texture which has been collaged and painted over. The vase and the hanging basket made from woven recycled paper, and yes, the succulents are lots and lots of punched paper circles.
SNAP18 runs from the 14th - 24th March at Aspire Gallery, 53 Kennedy Tce, Paddington.
Art Lovers Australia Finalist
Very excited to announce that I am a finalist in the Art Lovers Australia Prize for 2018! Part of the prize is a public vote with a chance to win $1000 art voucher for yourself, just subscribe to the Artlovers newsletter and vote for your favourite artwork by clicking the little love heart next to the picture - and of course I hope you'll vote for my woven paper monstera so here's the link!
It also means I'll be taking part in the finalists exhibition on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games 1st - 30th April at Left Bank Gallery.
Jennifer is a contemporary Australian artist based in Brisbane, Queensland. Know for her highly decorative paintings and unique paper weavings, she explores pattern and visual perception, often highlighting the beauty in the ordinary.
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