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Nola Jones:
Premonitions of Another World

by Jonathan Goodman


Sydney-based Nola Jones has been making sculpture for five decades now. Her work of the last five or six years represents a striking synthesis whose eclecticism is vividly alive. In her current series of totemic columns, she places separate elements on top of each other. While the effect is not so far from the metal collages of Nancy Graves, Jones remains involved with a vertical and frontal alignment very much her own. The work presents a particularly interesting merger of modern “high” art materials such as aluminum and “craft” materials such as papier-mâché, proving that these supposedly separate categories can, in fact, become elements of a single, broad spectrum of art. In truth, the totems are immediately likeable for their obdurate funkiness; one is reminded that Jones comes from Australia and might be alluding to the art and craft of indigenous Pacific peoples. Reference to such influences may be a bit facile, however, since Jones has clearly taken a difficult path toward individual integrity, a direction that unites her earlier colorful and tactile wall units with the equally vivid and compelling totems.

First Fruits No. 27, 2005.
Wood pulp, resin, wood, found objects, oil paint, and gold leaf, 18 x 14 x 6 in.

 


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