Carolyn Craig writes a response(as a Catalogue Essay) to Jennifer Long's new Traces Exhibition
The current show by Jennifer Long, Traces resoundingly demonstrates her growing maturity as an artist. The body of work shown encompasses paintings, etchings, drawings and collages. Differing mediums blend seamlessly together through the sensuous delight and joy that the artist’s mastery of materials demonstrates. The paintings glow with a quality reminiscent of William Robinson, dividing and coalescing space to give us a fuller view of the world.
The etchings show great mastery of the medium. The gestural marks and textural overlays create a density of symbolic and narrative overlays that enhance the viewing of the painterly works. Further signs of artistic maturity are shown in the perfectly balanced collage/drawings. These use absence and presence to engage the viewer with a succinct and direct dialogue.
Within all the work is an obsessive tenacity to understand the fragments of living, the remnants of our time. Whether these fragments are an examination of our historicity through flood images or
a dissection of landscape, they resonate with visual splendor. This surface delight encourages closer engagement with her imagery and we are rewarded with the minutia of what constitutes a life.
Each of us assembles a montage of fragmented memories but only an artist with subtle intuition can interpret the larger landscape of the detritus of our time. Through her own journey of images, Jennifer takes us through a journey of Queensland, of space, time and memory.
I spent some time hovering over adjectives to bestow on her work. In the end the works themselves evoke a visual dialogue that bypasses words and feeds directly into a deeper aspect of ourselves, one that defines our time and space in the world by distilling all the complications of history and living into a succinct visual platter to enjoy.
Carolyn Craig, 2012