We have long been fans of Kirra Jamison‘s amazing paintings, and in particular her intuitive way with colour. We also admire the endless versatility in Kirra’s practice, which over the years has incorporated a great variety of techniques and styles, from fluid organic shapes and repeating loops, to clean geometric forms and motifs inspired by nature. Her latest body of work revisits her interest in floral shapes, inspired, in part, by a recent residency in her hometown of Byron Bay.
We asked Kirra a few questions about her latest exhibition, currently showing in Melbourne.
Tell us a little bit about this body of work – what has inspired these paintings, and how long has this series been in development for?
I never really can anticipate where the inspiration will come from. Reflecting back on a body of work it’s usually something seemingly insignificant that initially inspires it.
I share a studio with florist Katie Marx, and when I go downstairs in the morning to paint, there are scatterings of petals and off cuts of flowers everywhere, trails of evidence from her trip to the flower market early that morning. The vaguely floral forms in these works are kind of like accidental still life that I’ve developed over the past year.
Tell us a little bit about the one month residency you recently undertook and how your time there has influenced this body of work?
The Art Park residency was in Byron Bay, my hometown. It was refreshing to get out of the city and be by the ocean again. The beach was at my doorstep so I could recharge with swim breaks, and my studio was filled with natural light that is so beautiful to paint in. I started painting some of my works for Drink Salt Moon there so I could capture my surroundings. ‘Zeta’ is a translation of the green colour palette of the rainforest that encompassed my studio and really resounded with me.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process – are the works very pre-planned or intuitive, and do you work on more than one work at once?
I always have an initial plan in my mind, but then I allow the painting process to take over and guide me. I work on all of them at once so that they develop both individually and collectively, harmoniously. None of them are finished until the very end, when they all completed in unison.
If you caught our recent ‘Melbourne Mornings’ film featuring Kirra, you would know that her daily yoga practice is a big part of her routine, helping to clear her mind and prepare her for each productive day in the studio. Kirra’s next project is therefore very close to her heart – to complement her ongoing art practice, she’s opening her own yoga studio in Northcote, not far from her painting studio. It’s called Good Vibes Yoga!
‘Yoga is an essential part of my life and opening my own studio has been a dream for the past couple of years. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes renovating a beautiful space in Northcote and putting together a stellar line up of yoga teachers. It’s really going to be something special’ she says. SO impressed. Go Kirra go!
Drink, Salt, Moon by Kirra Jamison
Open until 27 June
Sophie Gannon Gallery
2 Albert St