Untitled  2005/06
acrylic, gesso, mixed media & sand on linen
20 x 30 x 3.5 cm

Joseph has walked a singular artistic path since she first exhibited... With an unwavering commitment to abstraction, she has moved between painting, drawing and collage, blurring definitions and defying easy categorisation in her use and idiosyncratic combinations of media.* 

My concern in my art has always been in the ephemeral - life, death and the transitory nature of existence. Paradoxically I explore these concerns by delving into the physicality of the materials I use. I seek the unseen in the visible, the 'spiritual' in the physical. My materials are usually of a humble nature and I often incorporate found materials. My focus has always been of a minimal abstract nature with the barest pared back marks. My art is executed at great speed following hours of still contemplation, sitting in my studio. I must be in a deeply focused state of mind to paint. I've always experienced the process of making art as an affirmation of life over death and I often allow that process to be revealed. I will not 'prettify' the final painting.

Typically I have a series of small canvases in progress whilst simultaneously working on larger paintings. I use these small paintings as an intimate and immediate way to delve into and explore materials and textures. In this example I was experimenting with the grittiness of sand against the unique coarse quality of unprimed linen.  

The sand I'd brought back from the Shoalhaven River during my earlier Bundanon studio residency. Collected from the exact location on the banks of the river where Arthur Boyd executed his iconic Australian landscape drawings and paintings, I think of it as Arthur's sand, integrated into my strictly abstract works.

— Jennifer Joseph

 *Kirsty Grant, 'Jennifer Joseph', For the Next Three Hundred Years, exhibition catalogue, Niagara Publishing, 2019

Courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries

Artist bio