GREG JORGENSEN   ARTIST STATEMENT   Exhibition September 2021

I have had the privilege of travelling extensively through this vast country over many years.  I have been excited to see firsthand the colours and shapes of this great big land, and I have recorded the images while travelling.  These drawings have been used to develop the paintings for this exhibition. 

Three paintings, “Mallee Farm”, “Mallee Farm 1” and “Anakie Farm” portray man’s often futile efforts to live in the harsh Australian environment.  The paintings feature old, discarded farming implements, broken, scattered and rusted.  These tell of people’s efforts, early last century, to make a living on marginal land. 

Returning World War 1 soldiers, including relatives of my wife’s family, were given allotments of land in the Mallee, and elsewhere… many of which now lie barren, or have been absorbed into other allotments.  These remnant, rusted pieces represent the heavy backbreaking toil used to tame the land, to help shape the earth.  Lack of water and drought ruined many hopes. 

On the lower left of each painting trees groan in death spiral, in dark, dry and overworked topsoil.  The mirage-like backgrounds reveal the hopes of the farmer and the ultimate and despairing futility of effort.  The rock-like monolithic shapes of the farms in the paintings suggest the bleakness and stubbornness of the land to succumb to man’s dominion.

  • “Monument”. The spectre of Climate Change hangs like a dark cloud over humanity.  The arid, dry landscape in this painting is a prescient reminder of the fragility of our environment. It also explores the power water has to create monumental landscape forms.  It portrays the nature of our unique Australian Outback, and the predictable effect that mankind’s exploitation and scarification of the natural domain could have for future generations.
  • “Dry Sclerophyll Forest 1,2” reveal landscape colours and shapes often seen on my bushwalking trips, especially in the region of the Northern Grampians around Mount Stapylton. There rocks take on wonderful hues of reds, oranges and yellow ochres.
  • “Outback Panorama 1,2” feature the infinite vastness of inland Australia. The subtle earth colours of the land are captured.  The blues in the far distant mountain ranges take on an intense, saturated colour in the blinding, bright sun.  The desert reveals one interesting landform after another.
  • “Hanneman’s Gorge” and “South Gorge”, both of Argadell’s, are based on an earlier trip to this area of outstanding natural beauty. Hanneman’s Gorge had the most interesting, gnarled and twisted gum that I have featured in the painting.

Argadell’s is an extensive, privately  owned property located south of the Flinders Ranges, South Australia near Quorn.  The property has spectacular gorges, and we were lucky to see water in the gorges that we visited.  I produced many detailed drawings of the area at the time.

Gallery Comment by Terry Earle

This exhibition was booked to be held at the Malvern Artists’ Society Gallery but due to Covid19 restrictions we have reverted to an online format. I am always on the lookout for artists who are able to convey a different perspective and insight into this vast land Australia.

Greg Jorgensen’s achieves this in this captivating body or work. Harsh landscapes, warm colours, gnarled trees, rock escarpments and a sense of connection to the land are depicted with great sensitivity that our first nations people depict with unerring insight in their art.  Add to that the painting that depict early European settlement and abandoned man-made tools of trade.

My father’s family settled in the northern Flinders Ranges around 1885 before abandoning their pastoral property due to drought around 1896 and relocated to the mid north of South Australia where they farmed successfully for many years.

It came as a surprise to me when Greg featured landmarks from the Argadells near Quorn. I was not familiar with this particular property. If you haven’t been there put it on your bucket list. It is on mine now. 

 

GREG JORGENSEN

1952           Born Melbourne

1970-81      Melbourne University. Studied Archaeology, Philosophy, History & Mathematics.

                     Melbourne State College. Studied Painting, Drawing, Sculpture

                     Art History/Philosophy.

1972- 2013  Taught Secondary School Art

1980            Art Study Tour of Europe

1980-82      Conducted Adult Oil Painting classes

1981            Six week Art Study Tour of Nepal

1981-98      Participated in various joint exhibitions.

                     Sculpture acquired by Melbourne University Gallery            

1982-83      Directed Jorgensen Art Gallery, Essendon

1991            Worked as book designer and illustrator

1993            Provided numerous illustrations for the Australian Wildlife Association

                     Conducted workshops at the Meat Market for the Calligraphy Society of Victoria

1998            Awarded Art Scholarship to China ( Studies in Neolithic Art)

                     First major solo exhibition at Delshan Art Gallery, Melbourne

1999            Joint exhibition at Delshan Gallery

                     Solo exhibition at Bakery Lane Gallery, Woodend

                     Featured in article about Master Artist techniques in the Australian Artist

1999-2002 Joint exhibitions at the Incinerator Art Gallery, Essendon

2006-2020 Exhibited continuously at Mingara Gallery, Phillip Island

2000-2020 Travelled extensively through Europe, North America, India, South East Asia Pacific Islands.

Travelled extensively in Victoria’s Grampians region and the Victorian High Plains

Toured islands of Bass Strait & Torres Strait, Cape York , Kakadu & Broken Hill

Travels, including flights over arid areas of Central Australia, to observe inland waterways have inspired a number of his paintings.

Catalogue - Greg Jorgensen  

 

9/9/2021

TITLE - OIL ON CANVAS

SIZE

PRICE

1

Waterfall and Monolith

90 x 120cm

$3,300

2

Long Hot Summer

51 x 122cm

$1,750

3

Monolith, The Big Dry

122 x 91cm

$3,300

4

Anakie Farm

122 x 91cm

$3,300

5

Outback Panorama i

61 x 152cm

$2,700

6

Outback Panorama ii

61 x 152cm

$2,700

7

Rocky Gorge Kimberley

76 x 91cm

$2,050

8

South Gorge, Argadell's Flinders Ranges

76 x 91cm

$2,050

9

Red Chasm Waterfall

61 x 122cm

$1,950

10

Coober Pedy  SA

51 x 122cm

$1,750

11

Outback Ridge i

46 x 46cm

$620

12

Outback Ridge ii

46 x 46cm

$620

13

Hanneman's Gorge  Argadell's Flinders Ranges

71 x 56cm

$1,180

14

Lake Mulwala i

46 x 46cm

$620

15

Lake Mulwala ii

46 x 46cn

$620

16

Kimberley Boab

51 x 122cm

$1,750

17

Mallee Farm i

61 x 91cm

$1,600

18

Mallee Farm ii

91 x 122cm

$3,300

19

MONUMENT

122 x 152cm

$5,500

20

Desert Waterfall

61 x 122cm

$1,950

21

Dry Schlerophyll Forest i

91 x 152cm

$4,100

22

Dry Schlerophyll Forest ii

91 x 152cm

$4,100

23

Dry Riverbeds Red Centre I diptych (each 46x92cm)

46 x 184cm

$2,450

24

Waterfalls and Red Centre, Wet Season diptych (each 46x92cm)

46 x 184cm

$2,450

25

Red Bluff

91 x 122cm

 $3,300