"In The Raw" - 2021 Solo Show - PREVIEW

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Jess in Studio

I am very excited to present a new body of work showing at Sydney Road Gallery from Nov 4 - Nov 21. "In the Raw" is a collection of large-scale wooden diptychs. Months in the making, the series is a celebration of materials and process. 

Kelly Richman-Abdou, an art historian based in Paris, wrote an amazing article on the work, which I have included below for those of you interested in knowing more. Scroll down if you'd prefer to rush to the pictures :) 

working on painting

As its centrepiece, In the Raw features a collection of large-scale, wooden diptychs. These paintings build upon Wallflower, Jessica Watts’ signature series of works. The artist plucks the subjects of her Wallflower paintings from their whimsical, wallpapered surroundings and places them in settings stripped of graphic patterning. The backdrops cleverly reveal what one might expect to find under peeled back wallpaper: woodgrain. More than a crafty visual technique, however, Watts’s decision to leave her large-scale Queensland walnut, Tasmanian oak, and NSW spotted gum canvases exposed is highly conceptual, revealing a desire to bring her practice down to earth.

Familiar themes of feminine power are still at the core of this series. Just as central as the series’ content, however, is the process behind it, which Watts demonstrates through a strategic use of medium.

In the main panels of each diptych, textured brushwork chronicles the individual strokes that make up each fabricated flower petal. Watts take this method of documenting the process even further in the smaller side panels, where abstracted forms and, in some cases, even her actual working palette, are featured. In both instances, the thick impasto contrasts the smooth flatness of the woodgrain. The wood, in turn, lends itself not only to a more muted backdrop that bleeds and blends into tattooed bodies marked by simple outlines and subtle shading, but also to the Australian timber mounts that surround them.

Each of these paintings is not confined by its frame. Hand-made by the artist, the wooden structures serve as extensions of the art, culminating in multimedia works constructed from start to finish by Watts herself.

In The Raw is a celebration of the process. While this interpretation includes the construction of the art itself, it also speaks to a more long-term process: Watts’ artistic development. In a select few of her large-scale paintings, a single ferry dots a horizon line. On the surface, this detail serves as a nostalgic nod to a childhood spent on the Sydney Harbour. At a deeper level, however, it represents a journey, and—as Watts steers her approach back to basics—an arrival.

Kelly Richman-Abdou 
Art Historian • Paris 2021

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Photos on the internet never do the work justice.
In real life, they are so much more intense and textural and full of unexpected little details :) If you would like a closer look, contact me and I will happily provide more photos. Works displayed at Sydney Road Gallery from Nov 4-21. 

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"In the Raw" SOLD
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on NSW spotted gum panel
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au

 Barefoot On Spongey Grass 105x145cm

"Barefoot on Spongey Grass"
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on raw Tasmanian oak panel
$5800 AUD / approx $4300 USD 
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au

A Small Piece of Something Bigger

 

 "A Small Piece of Something Bigger" SOLD
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on Queensland walnut panel
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Dressed In Sunlight

"Dressed In Sunlight" SOLD
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on NSW spotted gum panel
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Float It On The Breeze

"Float It On The Breeze"  SOLD
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on raw Tasmanian oak panel 
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Growing Season 105x145cm

"Growing Season"
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on Queensland walnut panel 
$5800 AUD / approx $4300 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Homebody 105x145cm

"Homebody" SOLD
105x145cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on NSW spotted gum panel 
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Happy As a Clam at High Tide

"Happy as a Clam at High Tide"
94x132cm
Oil, acrylic and sand on Queensland walnut panel 
$5000 AUD / approx $3700 USD



Living Icons in Studio


Bouquets and Applause Please

"Bouquets and Applause Please"
85x51cm
Oil on walnut and birch panel, ready to hang 
$2500 AUD / approx $1850 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au



Best Buds 

"Best Buds"
85x51cm
Oil on walnut and birch panel, ready to hang 
$2500 AUD / approx $1850 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au


Art of Giving

"Art of Giving"
85x51cm
Oil on walnut and birch panel, ready to hang 
$2500 AUD / approx $1850 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au



Love Language

"Love Language"
85x51cm
Oil on walnut and birch panel, ready to hang 
$2500 AUD / approx $1850 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au

Wrapped in You

"Wrapped In You"
85x51cm
Oil on walnut and birch panel, ready to hang
$2500 AUD / approx $1850 USD
Enquiries to art@jessicawatts.com.au




THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST X

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