Jennifer Long: In Full Flight
Above: In Full Flight 3, 2018, collaged lino print, rust transference, etching, ink & wax on Hahnemuehle paper, 15 x 20 cm. Right: Passengers 1, 2018, solvent transfer image on white BFK Rives paper, 27 x 39 cm Below: The Waiting Game, 2/10 St1, 2018, 3 plate, 3 colour intaglio etching on white BFK Rives paper, Plate size 30 x 40 cm Paper size 35 x 45 cm
Jennifer Long reflects on her exhibition In Full Flight at Northern Rivers Community Gallery.
Imprint: What is the premise for this exhibition and how have you been working towards it?
The premise for this exhibition started with thoughts about our common connection to longings for freedom, the uncertainty of this and its loss in times of conflict. It also evoked thoughts about our journeys in life and where these lead us.
My previous two exhibitions ‘Flight’ and ‘Flight Path’ explored this theme but with ‘In Full Flight’ my latest solo exhibition I venture to suggest that the loss of freedom is overcome and through journey, escape or flight, hope becomes the intended outcome. More of the imagery in this exhibition is focussed on the birds in flight and tradionally the bird in flight epitomises freedom.
Imprint: What are some of the foundation ideas for the work in the exhibition, and what are visitors likely to experience?
The original inspiration for the work came from my father’s stories as a Lancaster pilot, his wartime log as a POW in Stalag Luft 111, and his Jewish family’s escape from the 1906 Russian pogroms. Pared with the current global refugee crisis I saw common links.
This was the start of a body of work, experimenting with different media and the metaphor of flight.
As an artist I am drawn to the disparate. Imagery is both familiar and obscure sourced not only from family history but from global events, landscape and found objects. Often I find the detail in my art descibes a broader landscape or a bigger picture.
Visitors will see images of bird and cage, evoking ‘flight’ and its loss; boat, water, tower and tunnel suggesting journey and escape; feathers, nests, tangled and fragmented forms hinting at calm and turbulence.
Imprint: How was the work developed technically and what were some of the challenges involved?
I decided to use a variety of media and different techniques of printmaking, collaging to layer and overlap materials to suggest ideas of transparency and opaqueness, absence and presence. This is particularly obvious in the paper and wax ‘postcards’, rice paper and wax vessels and 3D assemblages in paper, wax and aluminium.
In exploring a range of mark making I have repeated personal symbols to form common links across all the works. In many of the images in the etching series I have interchanged multiple plates or parts of them during printing. In the solvent transfers and watercolours I have reconfigured and repeated images to give a continuity to mark and meaning.
I create my own interior landscapes of layered and symbolic narratives to evoke memory, emotion and imagination in the viewer.
Imprint: What future projects are you working on?
JL: The plan is to begin new work for another solo exhibition next year and produce a large scale version of one of my 3D recent works.