WORDS BRIT PARKS
Pistachio viscosity swallows lullaby pink nerves. A new breed of formalism built in hallowed warehouse-scaled walls. An inward imitation of guts transferred to her own inner mouthing. Colour waxing heavily between mise-en-scène and protagonist and bedfellow. In a lean on what emanates we can feel the contradiction of palette living in Jordana Henry’s head. We can feel the warrantable weight of her work by the sheer scale as it clings to walls with a force gathering the speed of dawn callings.
An anthropomorphic form is common in a histoire of botanical wanderings, cloud shows for centuries, and even the suck-in of our own cheekbones. Henry has reached past this past, she has developed a consistency in form that allows room to morph with her own hand to brush. Whilst her shapes are precisely contained in her lexicon they assiduously huff; nothing in her work is static in conclusion. At The Above is lauded for its catalyst-striving focus on the experimental air that begs boundaries to dissolve. Material is king in a court of the unknown language of artists who feel less compelled to define and far driven to saturate in their own making. We could attempt to name the foreign mixed colours Henry has oil slathered, however it seems the point to let them swallow our curiosity in waves and let them wash over our eyes in the galerie light of indefinite coup d’oeil.
Brit Parks: Will you be producing the work in the space and then exhibiting it to follow? How do you think this will influence your production and mindset?
Jordana Henry: I have made most of the body of work in my studio during the months leading up to the show. However, since staying in the gallery space I have worked on one large scale work (6 meters long). I was so unsure of what this work would be until I arrived in the space. I decided to use the scale of the gallery to my advantage and create a work that was site specific in size, colour and texture. The work is an insight into the beginning stages of my practice. It portrays a sketch-like, more gestural style of painting, much like how most of my paintings begin. I figured, the show is called “SPILT GUTS,” so I may as well expose some more unexposed aspects of my work.
BP: Can you speak to your colour palette? How do you develop it, and how do the materials you employ influence the physical manifestation of your work?
JH: Colour is intuitive! It’s kind of like choosing your clothes in the morning…what feels right to you just speaks to you. It may not be what the next person would choose but it’s how you are feeling in that moment. Sometimes the most random thing will inspire the palette for my work — the colour of a public bin or chipped paint on the street…or a child’s drawing. Oil paint has become a vital element in my practice. Without the texture and layered depth of oils my work does not make the same sense. The scale, the colours, the gestures, the paint strokes only make sense when using oils. If I was using another medium, I would not make the same choices.
BP: In terms of process, does your work develop over time in your conceptual thinking and then move to the canvas or paper? Does the natural fluidity in the making come from contemplation in advance of the visceral execution of the forms?
JH: Depending on the day or the time in my life and what I may be concerned with internally, my conceptual thinking is incredibly fluid. It’s lots of thoughts meshed into one. I begin almost every day in the studio with sketching. It’s my warm up before I start to paint. Sometimes those sketches will show the first steps of a painting and sometimes I have no clue what is going to come out on the canvas until I begin. It is almost always an intuitive process.
‘SPLIT GUTS’ JORDANA HENRY AT THE ABOVE
IN RESIDENCE 19.09 – 22.09.23
EXHIBITION 23.09 – 08.10.23
FOLLOW JORDANA HENRY HERE
IMAGES COURTESY OF AT THE ABOVE