Exhibition Gratitude

Tired and grateful are the two words that best describe me at the moment. I’ve climbed a personal mountain. I set myself the goal of putting my insecurities aside to create a collection of work and show it.  I hog tied and muzzled my internal critic and committed to the idea that being perfectly imperfect would be enough. I’ve learnt so much along the way. I’ve met kind, generous, talented people like Lynne Pearce at “That Framing Place” in Balmain and photographer Theresa at “Fine Art Imaging”  I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support from friends, family and total strangers who made time to come to the exhibition, share a glass of wine, their thoughts and their money to encourage and celebrate my efforts. I appreciate every kind word more than you will ever know and I’m excited to continue creating as I’ve got lots of plans in the works! Stay tuned!Beyond The Surface Opening 055IMG_2188 Beyond The Surface Opening 052 Beyond The Surface Opening 054

Till next time

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Upcoming Exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’

Come along to the opening of 'Beyond The Surface'

Come along to the opening of ‘Beyond The Surface’

I’m excited to announce my upcoming exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’ at the Gauge Gallery 68 Glebe Point Rd Glebe. Opening night is Tuesday the 11th of August from 6-8pm and on Saturday the 15th of August from 1pm my fellow exhibitor, Photographer Claire Holsinger and I will be giving an artist talk. Please come along!

This body of work began after I broke my toe badly. It refused to heal and I was forced to stop and literally put my feet up. During this time I began to use social media, really for the first time. I also drew lots and watched my yard explode to life through spring and summer. My paintings in ‘Beyond The Surface’ are a resolution for me of the contradictions I observed during this time, between the superficial gloss and connections of social media and the enduring, interconnectedness of the natural world of which we are all a part.

'Despite The Looming Storm' Acrylic on Canvas form Exhibition 'Beyond The Surface'

                                       ‘Despite The Looming Storm’ Acrylic on Canvas form Exhibition ‘Beyond The Surface’

Social media appears to hold great promise of connection and community, but all too often delivers a faux intimacy. Endless sparkly posts show nothing but a veneer, a sanitized version of life; exotic holidays, great hair days and enviable nights peppered with smiling faces frozen in time. Rather than connection for me there were times when a gulf loomed, tinged with anxiety. My ordinary flawed life could not compete with those ‘Friends’ whose lives appeared more interesting, happy and successful. Of course I  immediately knew I was not alone in this feeling, that it’s inherent in the medium. Social Media is reliant on our need to compete, to keep up the façade of an enviable life and yet in keeping it up, we are distanced by the false nature of the life we construct for public consumption. The reality is our ‘Friends’ can easily become our competitors and who wants to appear vulnerable to a competitor.

Contrasted with this man-made online world masquerading as community was the view from my window. Our yard exploded with life! Our new neighbours planted winter melons whose tendrils grew like Triffids, invading our yard at an astonishing rate, smothering everything in their path. Birds, our seasonal tenants, returned to their nests, picking bugs from plants to feed the tiny mouths of an endless round of hatchlings nesting in our pergola and backyard trees. Seeds my daughter and I planted flowered prolifically with a kaleidoscope of hilarious blooms. Hot pink, sunny yellow, purple and red vied for attention and space. The sanitized world of social media contrasted so sharply with this intricately balanced ecosystem. Self assured flora and fauna danced with life and purpose, they appeared  completely comfortable and independent, while still totally reliant on all other organisms for survival. We too are part of that ecosystem.

This couch time forced to stop and watch the world and reminded me how funny we humans are. We kid ourselves globally, that we are somehow separate from nature and individually we often feel separate and alone, disconnected from life around and within us. The truth of course is we are all part of that same universal soup. We are all connected, all reliant on each other and everything around us. Our lives are all messy and fragile, confused and confusing, passionate and vulnerable, not shiny and perfect as they appear on Facebook, Linked in, Instagram etc.  After all everything is just space and matter, molecules in an endless array of combinations, unique and full of potential. The notion of separation is really an illusion we construct ourselves for innumerable reasons.

My paintings explore all these ideas and hopefully capture them in a more beautiful and playful way than my words ever could. The works are colourful and layered, both thoughtful and intuitive. They are inspired, but also show pattern and structure, just like all of us and the world we inhabit. I hope you can pop by and see ” Beyond The Surface”

Till next time,

Keep Sharing the Love!

When In Rome

More exciting news! My painting ‘Embrace’ has been selected for a group exhibition, showcasing Australian artists to be held in Rome in November 2015. The exhibition is being organised by multi award winning artist and lovely man, Steve McLaren, who dedicates as much time to encouraging fellow artists as he does to his own prolific practice.

My Painting, ‘Embrace’ celebrates the transformation that occurs when we hold something or someone close. Not just a physical act, to truly embrace is an emotional and spiritual experience. To embrace a loved one, a way of life, an ideology and with that embrace to fully engage with the essence of life itself. In this painting, bursts of colour, natural forms and tendrils vie for the viewers’ attention, just as life’s endless distractions pull us in opposing directions. The figures merge and explode with colour and those same natural forms, a reminder that though the modern world would have us believe we are somehow separate and immune to nature, we are in fact intrinsically part of the vast ecosystem called earth. ‘Embrace’ reminds us of the joy of abandon, of surrender to another, or an ‘other’ and in embracing fully, we become part of something greater; more  than we could ever have been on our own.

The EmbraceSixteen other works of mine will accompany ‘Embrace’ in digital form, to be displayed as a slide show for prospective buyers at the gallery in Rome. Fingers crossed the Italians like an Aussie girl’s perspective of the world.

Till next time,

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Fear V Love

I’ve been working hard since I last wrote here. I’m developing skills in photographing and the editing of my artwork, I’ve exhibited my work in several group shows, I’m making new friends with other artists for fun and collaboration, posting on social media, painting, attending workshops, you name it, I’ve been there, pushing, forcing myself into increasingly uncomfortable places, far from my comfort zone.

Growth Has It's Season Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 inch

Growth Has It’s Season Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas 12 x 12 inches

There always seems to be so much to do and with every step forward, more questions arise! With each new direction, or decision, fear and love my life long companions whisper in each ear, each one fighting to be heard, in an endless battle for supremacy. I know I’m not alone, all of us experience this battle. The further from our comfort zone we get, the louder fear becomes, whispering at first, then nagging like a shrew; “You can’t do it”……… You’re too old, young, fat, stupid, poor, whatever put down perfectly fits our personal repertoire of insecurities. Fear often has the loudest voice as it has shame, guilt and failure as allies, but if we listen closer, beneath fear’s undermining soundtrack, the sweet tones of love sing a different tune. The song of love resonates with our destiny, our greatest passions and desires. The song of love has truth, serendipity, miracles, magic and so much more as allies. The song of love resonates within our cells, harking back to a time when we were new and fearless, when life was a beautiful, safe adventure.
My commitment is to continue to look at opportunities and challenges and make my decisions based on love, not fear. Fear will undermine, doubt and be suspicious of adventure and opportunity, begging us to stay put, to not take risks, to be careful, to ultimately be less. On the other hand, decisions based on love feel exhilarating, like plunging into a cool stream! The energy feels expansive and exciting, still challenging, but somehow, just right.

Communion  Gauche and Acrylic on Canvas12 x 12 Inch

Communion Gouache and Acrylic on Canvas12 x 12 Inch

I’ve got lots of work to put up on the website in a new gallery for 2015, but as I mentioned, there’s so much to do. I’m working on some products for sale and want to get a professional portfolio done for licencing designs and approaching galleries. It would all happen a lot faster, if I could just clone myself!  Anyway, I’ll pop a couple of images up with this post and check me out on instagram @emeljurd to see loads of my drawings and progress images of paintings as well as a few random shots of our new puppy Eddy. Good luck with your challenges and decisions and remember, love, not fear!

Til next time,
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Little Creatures

Come and check out my gorgeous little Winter Bear, all rugged up in his little crocheted scarf. ( I haven’t crocheted since I was in primary school, luckily it’s like riding a bike!) I’ve made him for the “Little Creatures” exhibition at ‘The Creatory” The exhibition is open from Saturday the 28th of March till the 12th of April,  as part of the Marrickville open studio trail. (MOST) “The Creatory” is a wonderful store filled with handmade creations at 3/60 Carlton Crescent Summer Hill  (opposite Summer Hill station)
All the ‘little Creatures’ on show are 15cm in height or less and all are for sale.  So come on down, check out my Winter Bear and all the other gorgeous critters and maybe pick up a new friend!

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Exhibit

Good morning everyone! (or afternoon, or night)

I have a passion for creating, I’ve done it all my life, in private, in public murals, in work places facilitating groups, community projects, funded extravaganzas, you name it. I have a new creative goal, possibly my most ambitious and personally confronting, it is to exhibit my work. I’ve been actively searching out opportunities and have made it my mission to enter every group show and art prize I am able to, with a view to building up to a solo show.  I’m insecure like most artists, but have been diligently pushing past my insecurities and constantly challenging myself to learn more and get out there. So despite my fears, I exhibited two pieces in the ‘International Women’s Day’ Exhibition at Tap Gallery, in Darlinghurst. The two pieces posted below seemed to me to fit with the theme of International Womens Day best.  The first, ‘Loyalty’, is about the duality of loyalty. It is an incredibly admirable quality, but when exploited by another, can cause such deep pain, confusion and longing. The human figure inside the animal, alludes to a common trait, where we are loyal to others, patiently waiting for recognition, while abandoning our true, inner selves. The other painting, ‘Family Tree’ is an insight into my own childhood. High in our oak tree with my younger brother, I escaped the chaos below, embraced by her strong branches, I tracked the seasons, dreamed, read, gained perspective and felt safe. I can still see her lurid green spring leaves and feel the texture of her rough dark bark. I loved that tree.

It was a really fun opening and I really appreciate the friends and family who attended. For those of you who missed out, don’t worry, I plan to provide lots more opportunities and may at some stage personally harass you to come along! Lol.

Loyalty 18" x 18" Acrylic on Canvas $580

Loyalty 18″ x 18″ Acrylic on Canvas

 

Memory Tree 18" x 18" Acrylic on Canvas $580

Memory Tree 18″ x 18″ Acrylic on Canvas

 

I’ve also put three pieces into the ‘A4 Art Exhibition’, at the Herring Island Gallery, in Melbourne. All pieces in the exhibition are A4 size and all of them are for sale. There will be a huge variety of original work, from loads of talented artists, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, (or on any of the dates listed below) pop on down. I’ve attached the flyer with all the details below. The image turned out really small and distorts if I enlarge it, so I provided a screen shot, so you can read the details. It’s run by the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria, so if you want more details, check out their website at  www.contemporaryartsociety.org.au

 

Herring Island A4 Exhibition

 

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Will keep you posted with my next creative exploits and I hope my honesty about my journey encourages others to be brave, create and share your talents with others.

Till next time,

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