Gabrielle Jones’ Wicked Games

“full of shining light…[she] lets the inner things – her soul – come in to her paintings [and] evokes feelings from the viewer.”

Charles Blackman, discussing the work of Gabrielle Jones.

From her home in the Blue Mountains, artist Gabrielle Jones paints the sort of spontaneous, abstract landscapes that make your heart swell with emotions you can’t really elucidate. Whether vast canvases of bold colour or small scale charcoal sketches, Jones’ compositions challenge, entertain and enliven with their mimicry of nature’s organized chaos.

Not that chaos reigns supreme for Jones. During a recent residency at Tweed Regional Gallery, she found herself overwhelmed by the gallery’s extraordinary Margaret Olley Art Centre. A faithful recreation of the interior of Olley’s Sydney townhouse,  it is an intensely chaotic experience to walk through, let alone live in daily contemplation with for a month. In Jones’ own words, Olley’s mess did her head in, and when I dropped in to see her during that period, she was finding work a challenge in ways she never had before.

Margaret Olley's recreated house

Margaret Olley Art Centre. Image c/o ABC News

But with time and distance, Jones found a way to reconcile the conflict between her process and Olley’s, and works with a renewed sense of vigor and colouration began to take shape. The result is a suite of new paintings that have pushed Jones to a higher peak, combining Olley’s indefatigable spirit and  joie de vie with Jones’ painterly sensibility and scientific dissemination of her craft.

For Jones, painting is about encouraging the viewer to consider their environment a little differently, to reflect on how careful mark making can be employed to evoke randomness and chance, and how the conscious abstracting of landscape can best convey the startling beauty and comforting stillness of nature.

Gabrielle Jones’ Wicked Games is currently on view as part of The Ambience Store Project #7, until 10 October 2016.

For more details, check out Ambience Store online.

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