24 March – 9 April 2022
about the exhibition
Judy Horacek is a Melbourne-based artist, cartoonist, illustrator and author who is renowned for her witty and humorous interpretations of social and political issues. This body of work is an homage to all of those moments that have sustained us throughout the past two pandemic years. Through her vibrant series of watercolour paintings, she creates works which abound with joy. As she explains, “On the one hand the pure joys: the bubbling up of things that make us happy to be alive and human – that’s the ‘spontaneous’ of the title. But also the’ joys’ that come from the deliberate efforts we have had to make to survive … walking, being in or near water, imagination, nature, growing things from seed, birds, parks, looking at the sky…”Judy applies handcut rubber stamps printed with fluid watercolour which she then paints back into. These she then stamps onto abstracted watercolour landscapes rendered through a variety of mark marking techniques. It is the combination of these techniques, the carefully considered cutting of the stamps and the loose gestural qualities of watercolour, that so inspires Judy. As she says, “I love the quality of randomness that stamping in this way brings, the way it sidesteps my inner critic by presenting me with something I am not completely able to plan.” These intimate and exuberant paintings take us on a journey into her whimsical world and offer us a chance to reflect on and appreciate the simple pleasures of life.
Judy Horacek graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours, majoring in Fine Arts and English Literature from Melbourne University in 1985. In 2005, Judy continued her studies with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual), majoring in Printmedia and Drawing from the Australian National University. Since 1995, Judy has worked as a cartoonist for several newspapers including the Canberra Times, The Australian and The Age, where she is published regularly. Nine collections of her cartoons have been published, the most recent of which is ‘Random Life’. Judy has also illustrated and authored several children’s picture books including ‘Yellow is my favourite colour’, and ‘The Story of Growl’. Inspired by one of Judy’s etchings, she and Mem Fox created the instant children’s classic ‘Where is the Green Sheep?’ and they have now collaborated on five books together. Judy has participated in over forty solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia.