Jodie Wells

Wild and Wonderful

March 23 - April 6 2019

The exquisite forms and colours of flowers and birds are again the substance of Jodie Wells' new body of work. The aesthetic beauty abounding in the natural world has inspired poets and artists throughout the ages. Feathered creatures signify freedom, imagination and thought. We delight in their warbling songs and ability to soar into the sky away from mundanity. Flowers represent the culmination of a growth cycle. Receptive to sun and rain they manifest loveliness literally and metaphorically. However, Jodie does not invest her subjects with a symbolic import. They quite simply present a visual, poetic linking with her domestic environment.

Based in the northern Gold Coast, Jodie's locale is one teeming with all manner of wildlife. Her backdoor opens out into a domain where wonderfully wild things flourish amidst the ordered chaos of Nature. 'My studio is in my house, so working from home I have found inspiration from those things that are near to me,' she offers. 'Often just looking out a window is a creative stimulus. My main desire is to keep my subjects everyday, all the birds are native.'

"I realised there were so many facets to a creature's moods and actions to be explored. Whether they are wild birds or even birds in captivity, they all appear to display a distinctive personality. By observing posture or body language, I hope to be able to express their spirit and energy," continues Jodie. 'We endeavour to harness Nature's wonderful chaos through placing flowers in vases. Plucked from the wild their beauty is brought inside for closer contemplation.' In deference to past cultures' fascination with such subjects, the exhibition also includes images of vintage Chinese pottery depicting birds, bonsai and cherry blossoms.

Jodie's art makes no attempt to capture flora and fauna as a naturalist painter might do. An intense involvement with the materiality of her oil medium lifts her imagery beyond mere representation. The instinctual energy of Jodie's luscious markings radiates a direct, sensory appeal. We encounter nature in all its textural vividness through the gestural freedom and quality of her palette knife technique. The vitality of Jodie's tactile surfaces offers an alternative way to respond to our own environments - to experience the pleasure in just looking and feeling without recourse to analysis.


Jodie Wells' work is represented in the Gold Coast City Gallery Collection and she has been a finalist in a great number of Art Prizes including: Moreton Bay Art Prize, Brisbane 2015; Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2015; Clayton Utz Art Award, Brisbane 2012; Stan and Maureen Duke Art Prize, GCCG 2011; Black Swan Portraiture Prize, Perth 2011, 2009, 2008; Lethbridge 10000 Art Award, Brisbane 2013, 2011, 2010; Mount Eyre Vineyards Art Prize, Rex-Livingston Gallery, Sydney 2011, 2010; Glover Art Prize, Evandale, Tasmania 2010; Border Art Prize 2010, 2008, 2007; Mortimer Art Prize, 2010; Waterhouse Prize - Works on Paper, South Australian Museum, Adelaide 2010; Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (the EMSLA), Coffs Harbour 2009; Open Art Prize, Royal Queensland Art Society, Gold Coast 2007.

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