23 May 2023

Tracey Jones draws on decaying yet beautiful buildings for her first solo art exhibition

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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woman and painting

Oil painter Tracey Jones’s 60 Miles as the Crow Flies is on display at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery’s E3 art space until Sunday. Photos: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Wagga artist Tracey Jones is showcasing her first solo exhibition featuring the quintessential rural Australian streetscape.

60 Miles as the Crow Files will be on display at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery’s E3 art space until Sunday (29 May).

The exhibition features oil paintings, cyanotypes, and leadlight panels that explore the beauty of the areas around Wagga within a 60-mile (100km) radius.

Tracey said her work explored the rural townships around Wagga that were once glorious but had declined for many reasons.

“I looked at more challenging concepts of beauty and looking at landmarks and tropes in the towns that create and evoke that kind of engagement in that concept,” she said.

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“We went for a drive when we moved here to get to know the area and I came upon a township that was only a few buildings.

“You could see they were once a thriving community around these buildings but there was no-one around and the buildings were boarded and locked up for many years. There were broken windows but they were still quite pretty.”

One building Tracey saw during her drive became the catalyst for exploring what is beautiful and how something can still be attractive in its decline.

Through her exhibition, she hopes to raise awareness that these townships exist around people and deserve exploring because they are disappearing.

“One day the crumbling will go so far they’ll have to be removed and something might create an interest that they can be repurposed and have a new life,” she said.

woman and leadlight panels

Tracey Jones with her leadlight panels that became the catalyst for her exhibition.

Tracey explored using cyanotype as the monotone takes away all the other colours that can inform an image.

“I started to play with cyanotype, which is traditionally a very deep indigo colour, but I didn’t want that.

“I wanted that sort of ethereal, you know, disappearing quality to it, and after experimenting, I was able to get the very pale blue and fade in colour.

“I sealed it (the colour) so it didn’t continue to fade or go darker, which I was really happy with.”

Tracey’s exhibition features pieces that are the result of her recent artist residency with the Wagga Wagga gallery through the Regional Artist Development program earlier this year.

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The gallery is inviting the community to Tracey’s artist talk this Saturday (27 May) at 11 am to hear about her use of traditional oil techniques to create work with a contemporary perspective.

Tracey has been living in Wagga with her husband for about five years and is doing her honours in fine arts at RMIT.

Her first solo exhibition, 60 Miles as the Crow Flies, is open at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery E3 art space until Sunday (29 May).

Reservations are a must for the artist talk on Saturday. Click here to make your free booking.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.

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