In the final throes of finishing work for my latest solo exhibition FLIGHT which opens on the 25th October at the Bosz Gallery in Doggett Street Fortitude Valley and continues until 12th November.
It’s been a long and tortuous journey but also exciting and energising. When I am in the midst of thinking about and creating artwork I realise I am very happy and content. This seems to be one of the satisfying activities I indulge in.
It’s also stressful. There are deadlines and sometimes ideas seem to stall and there’s the usual internal argument like where is this idea taking me? Haven’t I got off track? Still it all seems to come together and as a dear artist friend constantly reminds me I always have more than enough work. But when is enough enough??
Thrilled to be showing at the Bosz Gallery, a new contemporary gallery for emerging and some established artists. Suzy has shown complete confidence in my ability to put together an exhibition which I am very grateful for. The opening night is Friday, 28th October 6-8pm. Hope to see a big crowd but a little nervous about how people will respond.
I explore ideas of freedom and its loss in a series of 2D and 3D artworks, inspired by my Father’s wartime struggles, his family’s escape from persecution and the plight of refugees today.
So this exhibition is really a tribute to my Dad and to those seeking a better life free from conflict.
I’ve had Carol Schwarzman write a small essay for the catalogue and I am really pleased with her response. I’ve included it below:
The dreamed world teaches us the possibilities for expanding our being within the universe.1
They say dreams of flying speak of longing for liberation – and produce a more supple waking awareness. The presence of water in dreams signals the bubbling up of strong emotion from the hidden depths of the subconscious. In Flight, Jennifer Long offers dream-like meetings of birds, shorelines and oceans to connect us with universal longings for freedom, the precarity of existence and resilience restoring hope. Flight gently confronts the viewer, mixing the archaic with the contemporary – and summons us to access ancient ontologies that have led to current global challenges.
The artist points to family history as source for imagery – particularly her portrayal of birds. Long’s father served as a Lancaster pilot in WWII, was shot down and miraculously survived, including POW internment. His extended family fled from upheaval to eventually find safety in Australia. No stranger to life’s contingencies, Long draws parallels to refugees from today’s global conflicts, and taps into narrative’s transforming power to move tragedy into epiphany and transcendence.
Ingenious with materials and technique, her work is refreshingly fluid and assured. Thus, a scene of tangled, naked bodies anchoring the composition of the etching Red Rock, 2016 will later surface fragmented, surrounded by water at the bottom of a collaged rice paper bowl as in Shallows 1, 2016. Flight plays with chance, yet also relies upon Long’s deft draftsman’s hand. The delicately observed birds in Afloat to Freedom, 2015, Freefall, 2015 and Breakout, 2015 are exhausted by their castaway status: they face a transitional tipping point calling for tenacity of spirit. Imagining their future, a viewer works toward catharsis, and embraces capacity for change.
Flight brings clarity and mastery to line, texture and composition in the service of personal reverie. The careful viewer sees the ambitious challenges – both emotional and formal – Long has set for herself, and beautifully surmounted.
Carol Schwarzman is an artist and independent arts writer based in Brisbane.
1 Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Reverie (Boston 1971), p. 8
A commission is an exciting prospect for an artist and not just in the monetary sense. It becomes the chance to communicate ideas back and forth between the client and artist and the task is to get a satisfactory outcome for both parties. The client has to be happy with the result, after all it’s their money at stake and the artist must satisfy not only the brief but not compromise themselves artistically as well.
My latest commission has been a large(4.5metre) mural that depicts an everglades/swamp for a New Orlean’s themed bar.
Last night was the opening and got to see the mural up and hanging. I’m pretty sure it went down well with the clients and the patrons.
It definitely gave you the feeling of being right there on the edge of the swamp and I managed to incorporate the tangle … Read More »
A new year and some new etchings created down at Guyra. This is fly fishing territory and the creek and bush shows all the signs of massive flooding. Tangled timber and branches, debris and rocks, decaying bones and detritus. All grist for the enthusiastic etcher! The fly fisherman caught a fish as well!
Can’t wait to get them printed and had hoped to get them done during an etching workshop in the holidays. Unfortunately it was cancelled much to my disappointment.
Still there is next week….
Congratulations to Jacky Lowry of Conondale who was the lucky winner of an original etching ‘Towards the Light’ signed and dated by Jennifer Long!
The competition ran during my TRACES Exhibition and to be eligible you had to take a photo of yourself in front of a favourite painting in the exhibition and post it on Facebook.
Something to suit everyone.
… Read More »
55 After the Flood
A slightly neater version of a section of my studio. Shelves are a little more overcrowded now.These shelves house many objects and fragments from bones, worn shells, stones, glass, pottery shards, drift wood. Anything that gives me a clue to starting an art work.
The photograph of me in the studio was taken by a marvellous photographer Elizabeth Ginn who took a series of images of artists in their studios.
The painting is a triptych ‘Where the Dead Leaf Fell’ and is my interpretation of our liquid amber tree in autumn.
Collages, paintings and etchings that are connected by water, fragmented montages of life and instil us with beauty and hope.
At the Graydon Gallery 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm(0435091278) until 28th October
Artist Jennifer Long in her Brisbane Studio. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
THOSE who went through them need no reminder of the devastating 2011 Queensland floods. But a Brisbane visual artist has found the beauty among the destruction, finding a way to honour the event through art.
In her latest exhibition, Traces, Jennifer Long has used pieces of debris from the floods within some of her artwork, using a range of media to provide ”a way of translating and understanding, perhaps honouring events, both personal and far removed”.
”Basically it is looking for marks and meanings about floods and disasters,” Long said. ”I used the fragments in my art. It is looking for memory traces, physical traces … verbal traces are what started me off on the exhibition, just phrases and words, it started with verbal traces.”
Those verbal traces from news reports and personal stories are explained … Read More »
You have a chance to win a free etching, ‘Light from Above’, an original, signed and dated artwork by Jennifer Long, just by visiting my latest art exhibition TRACES at the Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm. All you need to do is take a photo of yourself in front of your favourite artwork(and there are 50 of them to choose from) in my exhibition, post it on facebook and tag it and like my page, or for 2 chances post on my website as well when you browse through the images.
Competition will run until I get 100 likes or the exhibition finishes.
Welcome to my new website. Hope you like the new design. Thanks Zel and Si. You will see I still have my old Arthives website (you can connect to it from ABOUT) and its great for viewing my CV, reading news items and adding your details to my mailing list.
This new website though is bigger and bolder and I have a few new headings for different artwork.
Most important at this stage is my Traces Exhibition page. You’ll see it opens October 16-28.
Haven’t got all the images up yet. Just a taste of what there is.
Well it’s a bit scary having to write something I must admit. Too many great bloggers have gone before me. I’m not competing, definitely couldn’t do that. I’m making this short and quick.
I’m on the downhill slide to exhibition time and apart from adding the finishing … Read More »