Jessica Loughlin is a leading Australian contemporary artist whose work is influenced by timeless and expansive landscapes. At first glance they are instantly recognisable as desert landscapes. Yet as they absorb and envelop the viewer, the image becomes intangible, vaporous and abstract. In these transporting images scale has no place. With no corners or reference points, they are boundless, expansive and exhilarating. The viewer can lose oneself in the space, and with the quiet emotion expressed, become immersed in nature’s sublime and reverential powers. The images invite a spiritual reverie and meditation, with an undercurrent of reassuring ebb and flow.
The spiritually of the work brings to mind the quotation from Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters.”
The artist’s wall work employs fused hand-ground glass powder, which mimics the memory of water both viewed and imagined. Her glass sculpture creates glowing surfaces that change in appearance as they react to the surrounding light. Nebulous cloud formations fall away and then reappear – wilfully defying man’s grasp as they remain impenetrable and aloof while providing the viewer with a quiet space for personal contemplation.
Loughlin notes, “The pieces reflect a space in which we are reminded that we are a small part of a big world, creating an awareness of our place within a much larger system – a system we are still striving to understand.”
Loughlin’s work is life-affirming and uplifting, and with the acquisition of this thematic piece, the University is celebrating nature’s never-ending journey. It’s continual and cyclical form is reflected in the title ‘continuum’, and this evocative rendition invites the viewer to share in the wonder and magnificence of creation.