11 February – 1 March 2016
about the exhibition
Expressing the connected nature of all life and matter is at the core of Jenny Orchard’s art practice. A highly regarded ceramic artist for over thirty years, Jenny has recently been experimenting with collage, pen and watercolour on paper to further explore the fictitious and parallel worlds of her extraordinary imagination. These works draw the viewer further into her world which consists of surreal juxtapositions that both surprise and intrigue. Many of the works employ the technique of collage and, as Jenny explains of her process, “Chance combinations serve as triggers for arrangements or compositions which give expression to the imagination and begin to form their own meanings and stories.” Jenny’s ceramic hybrids are at once plant and animal yet show signs of the technological exploitations and explorations that have created them. These complex forms have been hand built using earthenware clay and decorated in an array of vibrantly coloured glazes, often going through multiple firings in the kiln. In all of her works there are references to the places in which she has lived and lives as well as her fascination with European tradition, African and Aboriginal mythologies, Australian contemporary culture and the environment. Each work in this exhibition forms its own story but the narrative running through all of them is that of accelerated change, chance encounters and the suggestion of parallel realities. Jenny’s art practice reconnects us with a child-like wonder of life on the planet and, conversely, invites us to contemplate the darker notions of our meddling with it.
Born in Turkey, Jenny grew up in Zimbabwe and emigrated to Australia in 1976. She studied at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 1980. Jenny has exhibited widely in Australia and has participated in shows in Japan, Germany, Italy and the USA. Her work has been extensively acquired and is represented, amongst others, in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia and National Gallery of Victoria.