Joshua lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania where he spends most of his time looking at the sky. Graduating from the university of Tasmania in 2015 (BFAhons.) Joshua has developed a concentrated studio practice and exhibited regularly. He has been a finalist in the Henry Jones art Prize, the RACT Tasmanian Portrait Prize and in 2021 has been selected as a finalist in the Glover Prize for Landscape painting.
Joshua’s paintings translate the energy and power of the Tasmanian landscape in to oil paint. While the paintings are strongly rooted in the costal and oceanic environments that surround our island state, they operate to describe a sense of placeless-ness where the atmospheric qualities of the landscape precede describing concrete and recognisable geographic features.
New Suburban Playground
A playground, a school crossing, a shipwreck. All half remembered moments from a childhood. Joshua’s recent paintings merge remembered and found imagery to create an incongruent narrative of a childhood, both recalled and imagined. Recognised images float in and out of fields of transitional colour and gestural marks suggesting liminal space, yet remain playful.
Joshua lives and works in Hobart and has exhibited constantly since graduating with Honours from the Tasmanian School of Art in 2015. This new body of work shows a move towards a more personal mode of image construction and communication through his medium.
Have We Found What We Are Looking For?
These recent paintings explore historical reinvention through the act of painting. They seek to question how history is constructed and attempt to unsettle the understanding of what and who constructs it. Archival images are sourced from various points in Tasmanian history, with particular reference to the wilderness and environmental past and are subsequently, through the act of painting, removed from their original narrative meaning and repositioned to create a set images that are fugitive of their objective context, creating a strange, new and incongruous history, one that through the lens of time never actually happened.
The figures imbedded within the surface of the paintings once played a role in Tasmania’s past. They, however have long since gone, becoming ghosts of history.
Swinging between figurative and gestural abstraction, pools of poured paint and sweeping marks of the artist’s brush suggest a flowing transient world in which history is at the mercy of the dynamic flux of time and new possibilities of understanding histories are developed. The stirring environments of paint all but suggest a slipping away of both time and reality while the lurid contrast of figure and ground battle to sustain one another, wiping away potential for narrative meaning.
In this sense, the images are no longer relic artefacts of history but become objects in and of themselves.
To represent is to make relative. To make relative is to consider entity, phenomena or otherwise in relation or proportion to another. The objective of these paintings is to hold a self-evident reality; a reality referable through corporeal experience, but not illustrative of a particular place. The paintings travel a distance from figuration and representation toward san embodiment of gesture, movement and a containment of the existence of body, creating environments in and of paint where the plasticity of lived experience as well as the materiality of paid is laid bare.
Our worlds are liquid. Always becoming, never become. The way that we experience the world around us too is fluid; dynamic in nature, multi-faceted and temporal. The paintings seek to operate within this dynamic state, denying the rigors of traditional figure/ground relationships and western mythos of perspectival laws, creating an engagement with the viewer whereby the eye and body oscillates around the canvas, not finding a singular entry point into the composition. In this sense, the painted world too becomes liquid; in a constant state of flux. A destabilisation is created in which every stable and defined place to locate the viewer dissolves, becoming immersive environments of paint where colour, form and space are freed of their objective meaning, becoming the subjects in and of themselves.