Personal recollections: Distant memories & recent events


Flashes of distant memories and glimpses of recent events are conjured by Jenny Watson in Private views and rear visions 2021–22. These pictures are taken from Watson’s personal recollections, ranging from treasured familial interactions to daydreams and unexceptional everyday occurrences. Horses and lone women are hallmarks of the artist’s practice and, within the various scenes across this set of paintings, they provide a sense of rhythm by reappearing in different guises.

Private views and rear visions takes as its backdrop printer’s proofs of the catalogue from Watson’s 2016 solo exhibition ‘Chronicles’. Watson scrambles the linear chronology of that catalogue — upending the idea of a straightforward career trajectory — by presenting its pages out of order, upside down or repeating. This manipulation of time is further compounded by the newly painted content, which includes a mix of old memories and recent observations, layered on top. In Private views and rear visions, Watson conveys the way that emotion, memory and humour inform the way we experience the tempo of life.

Edited extract from Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art, QAGOMA, 2022 available from the QAGOMA Store and online

Jenny Watson ‘Private views and rear visions’

Jenny Watson, Australia b.1951 / Private views and rear visions 2021–22 / Synthetic polymer paint on found digital prints on paper / 48 sheets: 102 x 72cm (sheet) / Courtesy: Jenny Watson

‘Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art’ is in Queensland Art Gallery’s Gallery 4, Gallery 5 (Henry and Amanda Bartlett Gallery) and the Watermall from 13 August 2022 to 22 January 2023.