Shedding your skin
Oil on Linen,2018, 107 x 163 cm
This painting was started on the walls of Die Spinnerei in Leipzig, Germany. I spent 3 months on a residency in the city.
The painting was shortlisted for the 2018 Kennedy Art Prize.
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2017, 40 x 30 cm
Painted in Leipzig, Germany
The Showman
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 66 x 92 cm
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, Oil on Linen
Painted in Leipzig, Germany
The Outsiders
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 100 x 100 cm
Facing the Light
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 140 x 120 cm
Private Collection
Running at Night
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 106 x 121 cm
Going Within
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 50 x 60 cm
Private Collection
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 40 x 30 cm
Painted in Leipzig, Germany
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 40 x 50 cm
Oil on Linen, 2018, 40 x 50 cm
Cool Down
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 30 x 40 cm
Dark Creatures
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 30 x 40 cm
Finding the Light
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 30 x 40 cm
Janice Gobey, Oil on Raw Linen, 2018, 50 x 40 cm
Finding My Wings
Janice Gobey, Oil on Linen, 2018, 72 x 183 cm

Click here to read more about LIA-PROGRAMME

“In an old spinning factory in Germany, in the former East German town of Leipzig, it is still possible to see traces of lives ground into the bare factory walls and floors.  Spinnerei, as it is still called, was once home to the largest cotton spinning production in Europe.  It’s fortunes over its 125-year history waxed and waned with economic and political upheavals, two world wars and a cold war, but always, despite fights for wages and conditions, there existed a strong community of workers. When the wall came down in 1989, Spinnerei began its transition from a hard, grafting factory to a space for artists’ studios, workshops and exhibition spaces.  It is a space rich in history with stories to tell, much like one of its visiting artists, Janice Gobey.

Gobey came to Spinnerei in August 2017 as part of a residential scholarship offered to only a few international artists per year.  With a rough idea in mind of the collection she wanted to create her time there produced the backbone of her current exhibition, Running at Night.  Surrounded and inspired by over 100 artists who are based at Spinnerei full-time, Gobey has produced her most accomplished work to date.  Like her previous collections, Running at Night is more than a loosely themed assemblage of work but instead conveys a powerful message.  This collection offers a window to a world that more and more people are experiencing, one that so many people know intimately and so many others are wilfully ignorant of; dislocation and disharmony.

The fox is a recurrent theme in Gobey’s work.  Often maligned and misunderstood the fox has come to signify cunning and brutality but in fact it is a small creature that gets by on its wits, furtive, living on the edge of, and the crumbs of, society, much like the plight of many people seeking refuge in a country not their own, the plight of most refugees world-wide.

Gobey is sensitively aware of the plight of those seeking a better life.  An emigrant from South Africa, a survivor of a bad marriage, Gobey is deeply familiar with the sense of dislocation, of coming to a new country and not quite fitting in, of feeling vulnerable and exposed and alone.

Her use of animals in her work are a reflection of the comfort and company she found in them growing up as a child.  The simplicity of nature and the honest order of things offer respite from the chaos and brutality of our human lives. The works seem to clearly say, “These creatures are simply going about their business”.

While her paintings of animals are calm and serene her images of people are more disquieting.  In Ethereal a woman sits with her back to the canvas. There is a gentle femineity to the work, a sensuality in the colour, the use of flowers, the relaxed posture.  Yet to sit with the collection is to understand that the subject is solitary and vulnerable, gaze averted, looking out to a place beyond, a place where she is not.

Gobey’s work reflects both an inner gentleness and a deeper societal disharmony. In a world besieged by economic uncertainty, environmental degradation, diminishing resources and inequality, the rising anger is palpable.  And in response, perhaps, to the disharmony we as a global people live in, men’s violence towards women feels like it is on the increase, depleting further the world’s transcendental harmony.  The works RageSimmer and Cool Down illustrate this face of violence that walk the streets daily.

Back in Germany, although a factory no more, the community is strong and it provides Gobey with a clarity of vision that taps into her own sub conscious and that of the wider community. Running at Night is more than a beautiful collection of paintings, it speaks a deep human truth of our times.

This is Janice Gobey’s 15th solo exhibition.”

By Nichola Garvey 2018

About the Artist

Janice Gobey

Janice Gobey graduated from the University of Melbourne’s, Victorian College of the Arts with a Masters in Visual Art obtaining a 1st class honours. 

She was selected as one of the artists for the Linden New Art Innovators program as well as curated exhibitions such as The f Word at Ararat Rural Gallery, Fixation at the Town Hall Gallery and the f Generation at George Paton Gallery. 

Gobey was shortlisted for the Kennedy Art Prize, the Wyndham Art Prize, the Sunshine Coast Art Prize as well as the Toyota Community Spirit Sculpture Prize and has participated in numerous international residencies such as the NG Creative Art Residency in Provence, the Leipzig International Artist Programme in Germany, the London Summer Intensive, a joint residency between The Slade and Camden Arts Centre, ; Summer Painting Intensive at the School of Visual Arts, New York; Point B, New York and Takt, Berlin.


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