Philanthropist, artist, and florist all rolled into one, Laura Jones has just spent the last five hours in her Marrickville studio painting a portrait of her friend.
In an interview Laura says that the “best paintings come from working with live objects, I like representing people, something alive and in front of you.”
Interesting objects and interesting people form the bulk of her subject matter having grown up in the beautiful Kurrajong region of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia, Jones has a deep appreciation of all things natural.
Finding the beauty within her immediate surroundings can range from a flowering Australian native gum, a single slipper orchid, and a durian and flannel flower, or as in the case of one of her more recent works—a sliced dragon fruit, or lychee on a stick. For Laura Jones a simple stroll down the road to her local grocer can be full of unexpected inspiration. Spontaneity and a keen painter’s eye turns the everyday object into her next project. “I don’t think too carefully about what I’m going to use, I sometimes go for a walk to find things and enjoy the serendipity of using what’s around.”
Her still life interpretation is full of movement and a vibrancy, which runs contrary to the popular definition of a still life, as anything that does not move, or is dead. The terms “glowing” and “luminous” come to mind when viewing Laura Jones’s art works. Using strong, confident brushstrokes each layer of glaze optimizes her colourful pallet with an even richer depth of colour. There are no dull or murky colours because Laura Jones likes to “paint things that are positive and make people happy.”
However, the majority of her objects usually centre on flowers. It is evident that Jones’s days were once spent working as a florist at Grandiflora in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay and this created a strong awareness and foundation for and a love and respect for cut flowers. Watching the seasons through the life span of the living flower is full of symbolism, and capturing the peak of a flowers beauty onto her canvases are her life’s passion. To this day, she continues to “pick up flowers from there [Grandiflora] and on some occasions people bring me flowers.”
As well as bringing a deep symbolic sense of awareness to the everyday object Jones’s artworks open an endless door to the multitude of possible colours, shapes, and perspective possibilities. In a statement from one of her current exhibitions, Director Kathleen von Witt from the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, describes her artwork as “different from the more formal arrangements of flowers by artists such as Margaret Preston and Cressida Campbell. Her paintings come from these robust traditional platforms and yet bring a bright contemporaneousness to them as well… she brings a tangible femininity to the works, her still life’s are more than the sum of their parts.”
To date Jones’s growing list of credentials have been recognized in several art awards including her notable achievements as a finalist in the 2014 Shirley Hannan Portrait Award, the 2012 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 Portia Geach Memorial Award, 2011 Salon des Refuses, and the 2008 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship.
Current and upcoming exhibitions of Laura Jones’s Still Life work can be viewed on May 2–29, 2015 at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery; Deerubbin Centre (1st Floor), 300 George St. Windsor, NSW, Ph: (02) 4560 4441.
A group “Mug Shot” Still Life Group Show on July 11 – August 28, 2015 Gallery Ecosse at ‘Halcyon;’ Exeter Road, Exeter NSW Ph: (02) 4883 4466, Mobile: 0403 936 624 Hours Fri – Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Sun 10 am – 3 pm, or by appointment www.galleryecosse.com.au
Exhibition features work by: Dean Brown, McLean Edwards, David Griggs, Sarah Hendy, Laura Jones, Jasper Knight, Julian Meagher, Paul Ryan, David Ryrie, Luke Sciberras, Wendy Sharpe, Ben Smith, Paul White, Heidi Yardley, plus more.