You Are Invited – Jodie Wells – Menagerie…
September 30 – October 14 2017
Unconcerned with symbolic import or socio-historic context, Jodie Wells’ paintings simply present a poetic linking with her domestic environment. “My studio is in my house, so working from home I have found inspiration from those things that are near to me – the objects and animals that I notice while doing my everyday activities and down at Byron Bay where I buy my art supplies,” says the northern Gold Coast artist.
The title, Menagerie, for her new body of work aptly describes Jodie’s subjects which are indeed ‘a diverse collection of things’. “They extend from the wedding anniversary bouquet that my husband gave me to the fairy wrens and kookaburras that perch in my yard. I’ve even seen a kingfisher out there twice,” she imparts. “Other subjects include the sweet peas growing in my vegetable patch, picked and bunched together in a black vase; the horses viewed in a field as I drive to my favourite succulent nursery and the honeyeaters hanging from the passionfruit vine that grows by my studio door.”
“Honeyeaters are one of my favourite birds to paint,” Jodie explains. “Besides their striking colours, I love their acrobatic antics. They will hang upside down, twist and turn and perch in the most interesting positions. Flocks of Long-billed Corellas and galahs visit our estate once a year. These birds gorge on the fallen pine-cones, eating so much that they appear drunk and wander all over the road, one has to be careful to not run them over!” With a smile she adds, “However, I don’t paint everything that is surrounding me. I didn’t paint the snakes, rats and toads I’ve seen this year, maybe next show?”
Jodie eschews any notion that her works attempt to capture flora and fauna as a naturalist painter might do. An intense involvement with the materiality of her oil medium lifts her imagery beyond mere representation. We encounter nature in all its textural vividness through the gestural freedom and quality of her palette knife technique. Light bounces from creamy, tactile surfaces. The instinctual energy of Jodie’s luscious markings radiates a direct, sensory appeal.
“Using a similar theme to my previous shows has allowed me the time to experiment and diversify my colour pallet and materials,” Jodie furthers. “This show includes two of the first ever paintings I’ve done on birch panels. There are also a few large monochromatic works which I hope to paint more of.” The innate vitality of Jodie’s heavily textured imagery offers an alternative way to respond to our own environments, to experience the pleasure in just looking and feeling without recourse to analysis.
Jodie Wells’ work is represented in the Gold Coast City Gallery Collection and she has been a finalist in a great number of Art Prizes including: Moreton Bay Art Prize, Brisbane 2015; Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2015; Clayton Utz Art Award, Brisbane 2012; Stan and Maureen Duke Art Prize, GCCG 2011; Black Swan Portraiture Prize, Perth 2011, 2009, 2008; Lethbridge 10000 Art Award, Brisbane 2013, 2011, 2010; Mount Eyre Vineyards Art Prize, Rex-Livingston Gallery, Sydney 2011, 2010; Glover Art Prize, Evandale, Tasmania 2010; Border Art Prize 2010, 2008, 2007; Mortimer Art Prize, 2010; Waterhouse Prize – Works on Paper, South Australian Museum, Adelaide 2010; Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (the EMSLA), Coffs Harbour 2009; Open Art Prize, Royal Queensland Art Society, Gold Coast 2007.
The exhibition ‘Jodie Wells – Menagerie’ is showing at Anthea Polson Art, Upstairs, Marina Mirage, Seaworld Drive Main Beach QLD 4217, from September 30 – October 14 2017.