Sharon Jewell - The Murmur of Surfaces

The Murmur of Surfaces, opening at the Caboolture Regional Gallery on 2 May 2015, is a Moreton Bay Regional Council Art Collection In Perspective exhibition that showcases the strength and diversity of Sharon Jewell’s artistic career to date. The title, Murmur of Surfaces, refers both to the material and compositional emphasis of much of the work in this exhibition. The drawings in her new body of work focus on objects that might be described simply as surfaces; such as paper, cloth and walls. Through processes of creasing, folding, tearing, stitching, and carving, Jewell makes quiet considerations on the strange qualities of surface materials.

The surface is explored for its ability to comfort and to conceal. Think of walls, blankets, curtains, shrouds and veils. The strength of their ability to offer some form of care, protection or concealment is matched only by their own vulnerability. How easily is paper torn, fabric frayed, board punctured. The murmur is a whisper that makes no assumptions, but invites one to meditate on these folding, lose, gouged and ink-marked planes.

Before Jewell turned her attention to the surface, line, as an element of visual language, had come to characterise the shape, structure and inherent voice of both her drawn and sculpted works. The fact that the newer drawings are now coupled with the emphatically linear sculptures that preceded them is not just a retrospective or comparative exercise, but helps to reveal the impetus that drives her entire artistic practice.

It is hard to avoid the connection between the lines of the plywood sculptures and the twining, writhing mangroves that line the mud shores of the islands of the Moreton Bay Region. At high tide, one can row a shallow boat from one side of an island through the rooty, gnarly swamp isles to the other side. Some of the linear sculptures inherit these characteristics. They are, by all appearances, the antithesis of the surface works. Yet there is a coherence and a continuity between them. 

Sharon Jewell is a respected south east Queensland artist with works held in the Moreton Bay Regional Council Art Collection and Queensland Art Gallery. She has received a number of awards, including winning the Churchie Art Prize, the Moreton Bay Region Art Awards twice; and two Australia Council Residencies. Jewell has taught Media and Visual Arts at QUT since 2008, and is currently undertaking a PhD.

Date: 02 May 2015 - 20 June 2015
Time: Monday to Friday: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am - 3.00pm
Sunday: Closed