Together with Olsen Gallery and Olsen Annexe, celebrated Sydney-based artist Laura Jones presents two highly anticipated exhibitions of new work. Staged just one week apart, the solo presentations herald Jones’ return to still life subjects, a significant departure from her recent bodies of work made around sombre themes of climatic degradation. “Painting flowers always instils a certain hope in me”, she says.
Dirty Pretty Things will open first in Olsen’s Jersey Road gallery, featuring a collection of oils made after local flower shop interiors and their creations. Institutions in their own right, Grandiflora, Potts Point (where the artist worked for many years), and Bess, Paddington, set the stage for Jones’ intoxicating displays. Retained in these paintings is the material truth of floristry, an art-form complete with its own dirtiness. Like painting itself, there is mess and adrenaline, there are long nights and deadlines. The artist recalls having to pick rose thorns out of her calloused hands after a busy day. Jones follows the lifecycle of her floral muses, painting them with skilled brushwork before they wilt. She embraces unashamedly her feminine and ‘decorative’ subject, one that is inherently dirty before it is beautiful. The works go one step further, asserting the relevance and rigour of still life painting against attempts to deem it secondary.
Opening nights 17th Nov and 25th Nov 5-7pm.
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