Jane Heraghty, is a contemporary artist who works across disciplines including collage, watercolour drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Living in Cairns her work is affected by the fecundity of the tropical environment, the work is unruly, messy and bursting with movement, colour and acts of creation.
Her practice observes our ordered and regimented social and economic system and asks where is the room for madness and visionary myth, for magic and shamanism. She draws a circle in the sand and say here is my magic space.
Jane Heraghty is currently teaching in Far North Queensland, her teaching and art making practices are equally important and she finds the balance sustaining.
Cosmic Inflation – Review of Outside and Inside the Universe: Still Lifes
Jane Heraghty gouache on paper and accompanying small sculptures at NorthSite Contemporary Arts Cairns May – August 2020
It was explained to me that ancient fishermen laid under the stars when the weather was poor and defined the universe instead. With the sand on their backs and the fire before their legs the stars hung in the vast dome like a muqarna, the famed Islamic ceiling.
The once deep and terrible void became the prickled surface of a glittering ocean, the vast dimensions a measurable and active fabric. Like an inverted mirror ball it radiated points of light towards them. They were at the centre.
Jane Heraghty flouts traditional coordinates. The up-down, the near-far, the then-now, the right-wrong. The infinite has no workable bearings. The centre is everywhere.
Entering the exhibition Outside and Inside the Universe in sun-filled Cairns you are apprehended by colour. But JH is not a tropical artist, she is an artist living in the tropics. JH is not transfixed by the tropic’s infamous colouration, but rather is hypnotised by light’s transfiguring surprises. The sunlight blazing through a taillight or an obscene orchid are equal.
JH is a the daughter of synthetics and chemical dyes. A child in 1970’s Italianate Mareeba she was rayon-eyed and pattern-possessed. While in the new front gallery at NorthSite her excited joy is palpably chromatic. As we discuss the show our laughter echoes loudly through the space.
In the studio JH pulls the velvet blinds shut, and by candle light arranges a collapsible tableau from a thoughtfully divined and arbitrary collection of photographs, objects, and carefully and uncarefully torn studies of the evolving work. With a bright pigment and gum arabic recipe JH determinedly reinvents her universe.
Astronomical volumes and domestic scale conjoin. Details are cartoonish Philip Guston-like dermal satires and too-close loiny proximity. Hairs sprout