Artist Spotlight #58: Jorji Gardener

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-21-14-pmJorji Gardener

A landscape designer before she focused on visual art, Jorji Gardener’s eye for nature and her fondness for Eastern prints result in breathtaking lino works that depict the beautiful environment we live in. In our latest spotlight, Jorji talks about her artistry and her favourite galleries.

Q: Hi Jorji! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I have always loved making and creating, and as a child I would make mini theatre sets. Later, I got into landscape design, and had my own business where I could create on a larger scale. My love of gardening and nature influences all aspects of my life, including my art practice. A large focus of my work is about highlighting the connection we have with the natural world, without which, we cannot survive. The environmental situation we are in today is precarious, and I feel a responsibility to use my enthusiasm and skills for its benefit.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-20-00-pmGrub’s Up (reduction lino print)

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: I find inspiration in the natural world, as well as museums, libraries, stories, my family, and the quirky things of daily life. I have a regular habit of bringing home a stack of library books on artists…all sorts: new, old, dead, and the different mediums such as street art, paper, sculpture, and book arts. I get a lot of artistic motivation from this.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: For the last 10 years I have predominantly worked with lino, specifically the reduction method. I love printmaking, but recently I have been doing more with drawing, collage, sculpture, and street art, and I can see how this changes the way I work, and allows a certain freedom for expressing an idea that is not possible with lino.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-20-10-pmJasmine Tea (multi-block linocut)

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: My work has something of a stylised look – clean lines, and often intricately patterned. Reduction printmaking with its layers of ink gives the work its unique patina and style, which draws on the Eastern woodblock prints.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: In my ideal world I would keep one journal at a time, but in truth I have several on the go at one time! I depend on them to store my ideas, and often it’s years later that I might come back and dig up something. Mostly it all starts with ideas; the desire to communicate something, and as with my journals, I may have several things on the go at a time. With reduction printmaking, there is a lot of preparatory planning and design to sort out colours, order of printing, and trying to work out how the image will be developed, although often changes will be made along the way. Because you don’t get to see the whole design until the last layer is printed there is a sense of intrigue throughout the process, which I love.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-20-35-pmSong of the Wind

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years? 

A: Having taken part in group shows for some years, I would like to make some solo exhibitions, as well as getting some residencies both here and overseas if possible. I love the idea of collaborating with others, either practising artists or in the wider community, and will be looking for opportunities to facilitate this process. Now our family is almost through the school years I plan on giving more time to my art practice, and am looking forward to days on end in the studio!

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A: To choose one person who inspires me is almost impossible, to some extent every artist who I come across has an influence on my way of thinking and making. But, ok if you want a name…. currently, John Wolseley.

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-5-20-47-pmSitting on the Fence (reduction lino cut)

Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: I love Urban Cow Studio. They are a great bunch of people who support local artists, and put on a wide range of works. Internationally, my favourite would be The Prado Museum for it’s wonderful collections, and also my memory as child when my mum left me to stare at the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch for hours!

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: My prints can be found at Urban Cow Studio, and Milan Rouge Contemporary Craft and Design in Stirling, and I will be having an open studio for SALA in 2017.

I have a Facebook page and website, both of which need some updating (any tech-y people who want to barter for artwork?!)!

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-10-03-02-pmSpice (reduction lino cut)

Q: Who is your favourite Adelaide celebrity?

A: Lately it would have to be Buster the lost Goldfish! I’ve seen loads of posters up all over Adelaide searching for this missing pet, and he even has his own Facebook pageThe whole idea is really appealing, funny, and a good antidote to the news of the world. It’s also very endearing, the thought of this family offering a reward in search for their lost goldfish.

Other than Buster, it would be Don Dunstan, despite that he is long departed. I admired him for his untiring work to support multiculturalism, and social justice.

Masya Zabidi

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