We are excited to collaborate with Jordy Hewitt, one of Western Australia’s most prolific artist to showcase her ‘Life Outside’ collection and share with our design-loving fans tips and tricks on how to style your home with fine art and designer furniture in the 1st of our 3 part series from our Ö-Journal articles. We caught up with Jordy to get to ask her some questions about her recent collection, “Life Outside” that we are now exhibiting at Öopenspace.
Jordy Hewitt is an emerging Australian artist and painter. A graduate in the Bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University in 2014, she has exhibited nationally exhibitions and being awarded prizes including The Hutchins Art Prize (Tas), Whyalla Art Prize (SA), The Agendo Art Prize (VIC) and The Mandorla Art Award (WA).
Ö: The 1st stroke of brush is always the hardest - how do you begin?
JH: Sometimes I will choose a formal constraint like the colour green for my Pool paintings or a hard central line for the Ledge Point paintings and that will vaguely guide the exploration for a group of paintings. But I think I mix colours based on feeling and instinct, knowing that I will refine and rework things as I go, once I see them down. It is a submissive and proactive process.
Ö: What goes on in your head throughout the painting process?
JH: I am making constant micro decisions, assessments, actions and responding to each action in the moment. I don’t have a vision or a plan for it and I try not to work out what it is I’m doing while I’m still doing it. It’s hard to quiet the critical mind. I’d like to be making those marks as a constant response to what’s there. Listening to or working from an innate knowing or suggesting.
I’d prefer not to have too much of my logical mind in it because it tends to close things down rather than open them up. John Olsen talked about painting as a conversation with the canvas – like the canvas would say to you ”how about a little bit of blue over there?” and I think that’s how you end up with a painting that has a message.
Ö: What is your series Life Outside About?
JH: Life Outside is a series of paintings I made after my first baby was born. I went back into the studio when she was about 9 months old and made 19 paintings in 3 months. I had a lot of pent up energy. It was the biggest exhibition I have presented in terms of the scale and number of works, but the palest and most minimal in palette.
They are very subtle and light compared to my previous bold and colourful work. I mixed tiny amounts of colour into huge amounts of white, reducing and toning down further and further until the paintings were very weightless and pearlescent.
Having a child was hugely transformative - vulnerable, jarring, spiritual and consuming. Pregnancy, birthing and parenting require an absolute presence from you. It’s kind-of the ultimate channelling work and was a complete dissolving of my previous life.
Ö: Where do you find inspiration?
JH: I think that making art is the process that I’ve chosen to channel through or to make intangible things into tangible things. Rather than knowing a theme or having a message and delivering it, I am looking for some revelation or essence about my life and current experience. I find things out over time, after the paintings are done, through reflection and feedback from others and in the context of all my work as an ongoing story.
Ö: Why do you choose these mediums?
JH: I used to do mixed media drawings and paintings with pencil, charcoal and watercolours and at that time those mediums suited my expressive abstract figurative style of drawings- faces and figures from a life model. Now that I paint fields of colours or more minimalist abstract paintings, the saturation, hue and texture of the paint is important. Oil paint has a depth and life that acrylic doesn’t. I add wax to my paint, which takes the gloss out and adds body and density to the paint. Glossy oil paintings interact a lot with the room because they bounce light off and make reflections. An opaque surface is more self-contained and commanding which I like.
Ö: How do you know when it’s finished?
JH: When I look around the painting and nothing stands out to me anymore. When there’s a flow there that doesn’t have something interrupting or taking away. I need space from a painting to see it more objectively, it can be difficult to realise if it’s finished the same day that I’ve been working on it. Sometimes I want it to be finished but I know that it’s not. I don’t want to see myself and an obvious hand in it, it needs to become foreign to me, it’s own thing.
Ö: How do you envisage people feeling and interacting with your work?
JH: I don’t really envisage it specifically, I think to be moved at all, is the aim. I was told a long time ago that my job is to make the art and their job is to critique it. That keeps me in my lane, which is to make things with an energy that’s potent and authentic. But although I can’t really control it, of course it matters to me. When people say that they feel strongly- whether that is confronted or emotional or peaceful, that is validating for me. I think as the viewer you get yourself reflected back to you in the painting, and I’d love to be the offerer of that. I’ve love to have a positive or guiding affect.
Ö: How is art important in one’s life?
JH: In her recent book 'Untamed', Glennon Doyle says “Good art originates not from the desire to show off but from the desire to show yourself. Good art always comes from our desperate desire to breathe, to be seen, to be loved. In everyday life, we are used to seeing only the shiny outer layer of folks. Art makes us less lonely because it always comes from the desperate center of the artist – and each of our centers is desperate. That’s why good art is such a relief.”
The 'Life Outside' collection is currently on display at Öopenspace.
Jordy is launching a new series of six paintings titled 'Other Wise' on November 15. For more information, please visit her website at www.jordyhewitt.com or instagram @jordy_hewitt.
Comments will be approved before showing up.