Jo Davenport Parish of Tambaroona I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Parish of Tambaroona II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport Tambaroona I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Gold Beneath the Surface Sofala, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport St. Pauls Parish of Tambaroona II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport Sofala I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Sofala II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport Ophir, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 1530mm x 1060mm

Jo Davenport Ophir - Emu Swamp, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 765mm x 1060mm

Jo Davenport Ophir Lewis Ponds, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 1060mm x 765mm

Jo Davenport Ophir Gold, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 1060mm x 765mm

Jo Davenport Ophir - Hughes & Hoskings I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Ophir - Hughes & Hoskings II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport My Valentine, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 1520mm x 1060mm

Jo Davenport Hawkins Hill, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 765mm x 1060mm

Jo Davenport Merlins' Lookout, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Huges & Hoskings Fine Gold II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport Huges & Hoskings Fine Gold I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Hargraves took the Glory II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport Hargraves took the Glory I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Golden Gully I, 2016 Mixed Media on rag paper, 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Golden Gully II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport First Gold - Junction of Lewis Ponds & Summerhill Creek, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

Jo Davenport First Gold - Junction of Lewis Ponds & Summerhill Creek I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Fine Gold Found Hereabouts I, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 760mm x 570mm

Jo Davenport Colonial Gold, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 1060mm x765mm

Jo Davenport Fine Gold Found Hereabouts II, 2016 Mixed media on rag paper 350mm x 500mm

At Hill End, 2016

Studio at Hill End, 2016

 
Mapping Hill End

Arthouse Gallery

16 June - 9 July 2016 

Jo Davenport’s visceral oil paintings inhabit the liminal space between the fading past and the emerging future through their colourful invocation of the landscape. For Davenport, the notion of space is not defined by perspectival strictures but conceived as a meditative resting place between the real and the imagined. Through layered colour, impulsive mark making and refined erasure, the artist brings the transient into view, conjuring the complexities of memory and representation. This mnemonic and tectonic construction of the image spawns an abstraction that conveys both an intellectual and sensual way of experiencing the landscape. Instead of dwelling on grand Romantic narratives surrounding the sublimity of nature, Davenport’s work considers the fragility and intimacy of the landscape and its inextricable relationship to our emotions and memories.

Created during a residency at Hill End, Davenport’s new series of abstracted works on paper draws from the visual language of cartography. The artist’s fascination with map-making began in 2009 after spending three months in the desert and learning about ‘singing country’ from the stories of an Aboriginal woman. ‘I realised that her songs were verbal maps’ says Davenport. On her recent Hill End residency, the artist studied the early geological maps of the area, talked to the locals, (who invited her into their homes and showed Davenport maps they owned), visited many of the sites on the maps and listened to old stories about Hill End and the history of gold in the area. 

Part science, part artistic design, the map encompasses a range of different graphic expressions – whether printed on paper, chiseled on a stone, painted on an animal skin or viewed on a computer screen. The works in ‘Mapping Hill End’ consider the cartographic image’s intricate and abstract visual elements as material interpretations of space. They explore how maps connect the physical world and, increasingly, the digital world, with human consciousness, nurturing a dialogue between internal and eternal landscapes. Working with paper – a befitting cartographic material – the artist considers the artistic currency of maps as both analytical tools and aesthetic objects, calling into question what makes an abstract rendering into a map and, likewise, what makes a map an artwork. Rather than working towards a preconceived image, Davenport uses paint to search for the map – an ironic twist of the map’s typical function as guide – which gradually emerges like a quiet revelation. Moving away from topographical and physical representations, the paintings ultimately map the emotions associated with ‘being in’ the landscape: the sensuality of a flowing river, weighty reflections in water, the scent of impending rain, the warmth of the midday sun and cool shimmers of morning light. 

- "Mapping Hill End' Catalogue Essay, Arthouse Gallery, 2016