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Catalogue essay for Hymns to a Passion Exhibition at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre

“If you work with abstract painting for a period of time, you may come to think of it as a melody, a song, a piece of beautiful music.” — Judi Betts

Gabrielle Jones revels in the joy that art-making has brought to many an artist and observer throughout the course of history. Jones contorts colour until it becomes tangible, moving harmoniously with music one can only wish to hear. Her practice of abstract expressionism is rooted in the skilful application of paint that depicts more than just an object but something from within. An exploration of how oil and acrylic react to movement has given rise to a body of works that unify method and chaos, drawing the viewer’s eyes back and forth through progressions of colour and form. The presence of the artist is always evident in Jones’s work. She has sought to personalise abstraction by emphasising the paint brush as an extension of her hand, a stream of pure consciousness flowing from the artist onto the canvas.

“There is a freedom and ease in these new paintings. I’ve broken down all the ‘shoulds’ and barriers and just painted and painted […] I have tried to remain curious, responded to the work, and relaxed. I’m exploring what paint does - trying to push my repertoire and skills and get out of my own way.”

The works unfold themselves to the viewer in a flirtatious push and pull. The more you stare the more they will reveal. The velvety glide of Seduction (2019) enthrals with its languid strokes – what could be hidden in that dark centre? Passion (2019) contains a flurry of oranges and deep reds; the motion of the pigment creates a haze suggestive of overwhelming elation. The paintings are somehow as tactile as much as they are visual. One can feel the surface of each work, sense the texture, without even having touched them.

Music is fundamental to Jones’s practice, each artwork containing its own choreographed dance. The performance element of mark making sits at the very heart of her current body of work Hymns to a Passion. The moment of creation is fleeting, but the energy captured in these paintings lives on.

Jones speaks of her practice as being in a transitional phase. Reflecting on her past work, this burgeoning transformation becomes apparent. The layered brush strokes and riot of colour yields a luminosity developed through many washes of paint. It engenders a sense of something that won’t be contained. This sensation is exemplified in Inner Voice (Mother Love) in which a luscious, fluid form, akin to a growing organism that will soon blanket its jagged environment, moves across the canvas. The painting epitomises Jones’s current body of work where emotional intensity, viewer interpretation and the physical act of painting merge on the canvas. Jones herself perhaps offers up the best manner in which to frame these works:

“In the end, the work is a call to the viewer to enter into the poetry and reality of making art, to collect their mental and sensual responses to the different works – to understand, enhance or orchestrate their sense of what it is to make art and specifically, poetic abstract art”.

— Aleisha Knight, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre


Featured in 52 Critical Painters

12 August 2019 featuring Gabrielle Jones

About 52 Critical Painters:
Through weekly blog posts I intend to nourish a community of online visitors interested in the tradition, contemporary practice, and future of painting. I define a critical painter as anyone exercising careful judgement or observation in ways that are of decisive importance to painting or the world at large. Painting in 2019 is more multiplicitous than ever. Within seemingly infinite possibilities the artists featured here will have developed a voice, carved out a corner, imagined a vision, or otherwise set themselves apart from the myriad painters painting today.

“Australian abstract artist Gabrielle Jones makes paintings that appear like wild bouquets of brushstrokes— energy coalescing into amorphous fleshy forms. They are seemingly sentient heaps of color about "the performative act of painting, capturing the rhythm of movement." Jones works both with acrylic and oil, but says she "loves the slipperiness and wetness of oil— it's alternately tactile, sexy, and annoyingly dirty." (Creativpaper vol 002 Issue 009)

You You You You You You You (2019) looks like a nocturne in which paint has been caught coming to life after-hours in the studio. The title echoes Fiona Apple's powerful refrain in 'Valentine,' a moving song of unrequited love. In it, Apple sings, "I watched you live to have my fun / I root for you, I love you / You, you, you," which may as well be about a painter's love for painting.

Seduction (2019) is a juicy, swirling affair of soft pinks, creamy browns, and glowing ochres. Seduction, I imagine, is what a painting would look like peacocking, which leads us directly to the relation of desire, lust, and seduction to art. Can a painting be described in the same terms as great sex, or does it require a different vernacular?

Atonement (2019) is a joyous jumble of greens, teals, pinks, and reds. In a literal sense, atonement is to fix, make right, or reassemble something broken. To atone a painting would be fixing or reworking a bad or neglected painting. This act of atonement would surely please the painting gods, who are, after all, no gods at all, but simply all the personal convictions and compulsions each painter has toward painting. No Gods. No Masters. Only Painting”.

Kevin Smith, Author


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Interviewed for Tangerine Magazine May 2019

This Blog is “a collection of works from the wonderful artists of Australia?s Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne cities. Painters, Designers, Film Makers Animators all come together as part of this project….I aim to highlight the need for creativity and new ideas” Alex Murray, Writer/publisher.

You can find the full article here:
https://tangerine-magazine.squarespace.com/blog-1/2019/4/24/gabrielle-jones


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Catalogue essay for I Wanna Be Adored Exhibition in Melbourne

Gabrielle Jones presents a series of grand scale paintings in “I WANNA BE ADORED”. The paintings are filled with a lush, rich intensity of colour and each has its own rhythmic composition. Jones has a natural intuition for harmony and rhythm, as the lines move with excitement and cannot be contained within the frame of the work. This is underpinned from the musical influences in her studio practice. Music is undoubtedly a driving force behind her confident brush strokes that convey powerful deliberation behind spontaneous gesture and continual movement.

When you meet Gabrielle, you immediately notice her vivacious nature and abundance of ideas. Hence her ‘Maximalist’ approach to her paintings, where ‘More is More’ – and she delivers more! Her canvases are filled with bold colourful brush strokes, deliberately imprecise, creating a macrocosm where the organic shapes are tangible.

Jones draws upon the fundamentals of ‘Maximalism’, where there is a need to fill the composition with a ‘more is more’ approach. She does just that as she fills the painting to the brim with unscripted lines that dance in and out of view. The layering of colour pushes deep tones back and pulls lighter marks forward, giving a sense of ambience in a weightless space. The spaces in-between the traveled lines are the moments of quiet in a work which speaks volumes. She gives the viewer so much more that is impossible to stand before the work without a quiet moment of awe.

Sarah Randall – West End Art Space, 2017


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Selected for international magazine’s covers

My painting Zeitgeist Zulu was selected for inclusion in the Fall Edition of New York Magazine, “Friend of the Artist”. Five Images were selected by a juror and then highlighted as “exceptional” by the FOA Staff. I then found out that Zulu had been selected as the cover image, as well as the 4pp article inside.

“Friend of the Artist” is a print and digital publication dedicated to showcasing the work of emerging and established artists from around the world. From their website:

There is a copious amount of engaging and intelligent artwork, but because of some invisible gap between the academy and the art world, there is a limit to the opportunities that artists have. Art collects dust and voices become mute. Our print and digital publications allow us to exhibit artists’ work in a broader context. We have the advantage of sparking worldwide conversations through our artist interviews, which makes us unique from other art publications. FOA is about engaging in meaningful dialogue around art in print.


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CreativPaper Magazine

Three of my paintings and an interview were featured in UK magazine CreativPaper. You can see the complete digital version of the magazine at ISSUU…


 

An interview recorded for the FavourEconomy project and link to our page favoureconomy.com

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ABC Radio National Local Radio (Orange) interview with Kia Handley, Breakfast Show host, about life as an artist, to coincide with a fridge door painting project