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Sense of Place by Jessica Watts

When:

Sun 9 Dec 2018, 9:00am–12:00pm
Thu 13 Dec 2018, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 14 Dec 2018, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 15 Dec 2018, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 16 Dec 2018, 9:00am–12:00pm

Where: Sydney Road Gallery, Shop 2, 563 Sydney Road, Seaforth, New South Wales

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Website:

Listed by: cp8

Sought-after Sydney artist, Jessica Watts, presents her latest solo exhibition, ‘Sense of Place’, where she will display paintings and sculptures that explore a feminine ecosystem.

Ms Watts takes gender clichés and re-appropriates them into positive and empowering pieces of art. The paintings are directly inspired by her collection of vintage wallpapers.

“The idea of re-appropriation isn’t new but the process of repurposing a stereotype and turning negative ideas into positive parts of our own identity is powerful,” said Ms Watts.

“The act of claiming an identity can be transformational. I often refer to my paintings as ‘Wallflowers’, and perhaps this is why they have been so well received as it reflects what we see in ourselves.”

Ms Watts’ multi-layered paintings possess a meditative quality. The repetitive working and reworking of her themes of wallpaper, the female body, flowers, and birds is like a personal mantra. The works explore ideas about ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ and seek to encapsulate the mutability of modern femininity.

“I push the visual language towards sheer exuberance, the artworks are brimming with detail and delight,” said Ms Watts.

Ms Watts takes visual cues from a Sydney summer with women closely cropped and standing in shallow water, adorned with flowers and birds, while ferries float on the horizon.

“Although ‘place’ is the most general of words, what it points to is very specific. Place is not only where you are, it’s who you are,” said Ms Watts.

“My heroines are immersed in nature. The lines are blurred as to where the body ends and the background begins. Old wooden ferries suggest nostalgia and longing. We all carry with us footprints of vanished places, places from our past.”

In ‘Sense of Place’, Ms Watts will also debut her new sculptural work, a tongue-in-cheek series ‘Ladies of Leisure’.

“The ‘Ladies of Leisure’ features charming, oversized resin snails languishing on picture frames and trailing up gallery walls. Free from duty and responsibility these creatures are delightfully idle,” said Ms Watts.

Ms Watts has also been commissioned to paint a mural inside the new Three Beans Café, part of the Dee Why Town Centre redevelopment, also opening this November. Ms Watts exhibits extensively in Australia and Japan. This is her only solo show in Sydney this year.

About Jessica Watts:
Jessica Watts works with oil paint on vintage ephemera to explore stereotypes relating to feminine identity.

Through the years she has amassed all sorts of printed matter which she revives in her artwork. Her collection of 1940s wallpaper is the inspiration for her acclaimed series of work ‘Wallflower’. The series is an exploration into beauty: in particular, how appearances relate to the inner self.

Jessica received a Bachelor of Design with Honours and the University Medal from UTS before a long career working as a multi-award-winning art director, including working for over a decade in New York. She has been a full-time artist since 2010.

Her most recent solo show was in September 2018 at the prestigious Bunkamura Gallery in Tokyo. Jessica is co-founder of Sydney Road Gallery and is represented by Retrospect Galleries in NSW, Art Salon Gallery VIC, and Art Obsession Inc Tokyo.

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