Act One Scene One 2015

February 5 - 21, 2015

Gallerysmith Project Space, Melbourne

Catalogue Statement by Jordy Hewitt

In this work I want to explore constructed realities, facades and the potential existence of gateways out. By dropping atmospheric paintings into familiar yet unexpected and isolated settings, I am hoping to jolt the existing state of affairs and create a precipice or portal opening. I am interested in the creation of somewhat conflicted non-places, places that are like holding zones of intense potential, from which transformation may occur.

The potential aspect is the most important for me in terms of this work having a positive, living relevance. The title Act One, Scene One was something my grandmother said just before she died, in her customary sardonic and resigned tone. She approved of the concept of multiple lives and had fond ideas, which she expressed frequently, about how she herself was Cleopatra reincarnated. Although creative, passionate and eccentric, she was exhausted and trapped in an unhappy life and left it prematurely.

Although for me there is an inherent element of ode or dedication to her and my matriarchal lineage, this project is not about her death, the afterlife, nor driven by grief. The relevance to her story in my thinking is about consciousness and personal power. Existing realities may be established or entrenched but they are not predetermined or fixed. There is an ominous mix of apprehension, expectation and fear involved in leaping and shifting and maybe this work acknowledges and encourages that.

Opening Address by Sarah Booth

I was really excited when Jordy asked me to do this introduction because the ideas behind her works particularly resonate with me. I've known Jordy for years and have watched her practice take passage through subject matter that belies a very genuine curiosity in the human experience. Act One, Scene One - the darkly humorous last words uttered by Jordy's grandmother - have inspired the series and her movement from the 'what is' to the 'what could be' in her work. 

Within these works Jordy borrows from the romantic and sprawling idea of landscape, and grants it an abstraction. Through the positioning of her works, which borrow from the natural and the vulnerable, against images of the familiar, a liminal space is created. An uneasiness that speaks to what is at the heart of our being human: what lies beyond, what are the passages into and out of this confusing, chaotic and beautiful life. 

The works particularly resonate with me as death and the unknown seem to be a common theme arising in my life at the moment. The emotions that this experience bring up are not exclusively of grief and of sorrow, but also of questions; what do I truly believe? When you strip back all the distractions and are confronted with the real idea of mortality it forces you beyond a place to which the rational mind is granted access. I think what Jordy has done with these works, through use of medium and colour, is to provide a provocative guide through the landscape of the what lies beyond the capacity of the rational. For me, the images trigger ideas of both beauty and of a very personal silence. 

What is affected by her abstracting these landscapes is a presentation of large ideas and difficult concepts, while offering the viewer an opportunity to let go. How far you go is up to you, but that joke on humanity, the painful conscious awareness of mortality and the unknown, is the underlying thing that drives each of us and the true beauty of the human experience. I'm impressed with Jordy's fearlessness in her desire to continuously create and share her personal dialogue with it.