OUT/ABOUT: ALAN JONES ‘Paintings From Coogee’
It is well known, the nearly impossible plight of the artist to make a living from selling their wares. Let’s be frank not all of us can afford to buy the art we desire and with only limited gallery space just getting your work on the wall can be the biggest challenge. Fortunately many private and public institutions have annual competitions that allow artists the opportunity to win some serious prize money and perhaps, more importantly, some time in the spotlight.
A couple of weeks ago Sydney painter Alan Jones was awarded the coveted Mosman Art Prize and collected $30,000 for his work ‘Painting 131 (North Coogee)’. The winning work depicts an atmospheric rendering of his local park in Sydney’s coastal suburb with two highly textural self portraits floating curiously above the headland.
The autobiographical theme is central to most of Jones’ artmaking of the past decade with images taken from his personal history forming the nexus of his work in a variety of media. He examines notions of identity through his paintings of immediate family members but also goes to considerable effort in researching his distant heritage right back to a convict forebear who arrived on the First Fleet. Jones explains ‘making work that has a significance for me feels more relevant, and has a greater importance; this personal connection to the work keeps me going back into the studio.’
There is definitely a shared desire (this is the third major prize won in so many years) for him to stay in the studio as his highly original paintings provide a fresh perspective on contemporary Australian painting, both in subject and technique. Together with the exhibition at the Mosman Art Gallery (current until August 30) Alan Jones is preparing for a solo exhibition at Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney opening on August 26.
Mosman Art Gallery
Art Gallery Way & Myahgah Road
Mosman NSW 2088
10am – 5pm, 7 days a week
Until 30th August
Alan Jones ‘Paintings from Coogee’
Olsen Irwin Gallery
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra 2025 NSW
26 August – 13 September