TO THE LINE DRAWN
I went for a wander and found myself
61x61cm mixed media on canvas
I first saw Jurgi’s work on Instagram.
The painting that caught my immediate attention was ‘I went for a wander and found myself’. I recognised the dramatic brushwork, the kinetic energy used to mark the canvas and the commitment to surrendering to whatever occurred.
It was dark in its beginning. I could imagine the deep sweeps of a pitchy tone allowing an early framework to lay over with brighter colour in a greater abandonment to a more primal instinct.
That reminded me of when I studied dance, deliberately overbalancing, enabling myself to experience arcs of movement that I had not anticipated.
And then I look closer, what really appeals to me is the mark-making, the drawing. It is here that I sense more intimately the personality of the artist, the immediacy of language that enables her to finish her story.
The red line interested me most. A thinly drawn line almost as if it were a secret trail, a dare to cut across this place … a trespass.
I went for a wander and found myself (detail)
It is these finishing touches that really seem to me to be the call to the wild; these linear gestures are a reminder to the artist to include herself into the landscape itself; they are gestures of defiance to the darkness and suggest a terpsichorean map to some unknown treasure.
Jurgi was born in Lithuania and now lives in Devon on the fringes of Exmoor, one of the few remaining moors of England. It is clear to see where much of her influence for compositional depth comes from. Sweeping views with heather clad hills brushing the long horizon.
Exmoor – photo by Jurgi Moor
To be surrounded by a landscape of the wild unknown. How to weave a magical story from that unfamiliar place? The jagged rocks and spare spiky grass … how to prepare your paintbrush as a magic wand?
Her landscape paintings become large in scale, reflecting the wonder of the limitless reach of the horizon.
I love painting big … the bigger, the better. It goes hand in hand with a feeling of freedom for me.
It is how everything tumbles into place that is seductive.
What we see on first glance is the capturing of the essence of place; joyfully thrown and worked on the canvas with energy and delight.
Within Me II 120x100cm mixed media on canvas
These are the gestures of someone who dances with the world as they understand the joy experienced from connecting with it, realising the wonder of what she is seeing.
Velour 81x102cm acrylic on canvas
The whirling mess of beauty, the wonderful bliss of being a part of it. The gratitude for being able to acknowledge such a miraculous thing in our everyday.
It is our true instinct to return that gift, to create a token of gratitude. As artists we create prayers. For truly that is what they are – a heartfelt plea to the wide unknown to say ‘look what I can see … is it not wonderful?’
The painting above is full of positive energy, dancing with the colours that Jurgi has pulled from her imagination, brushed, dripped scraped and swooshed over darker colours; the rolling curves and the breaking edge, ungainly marks that pierce the horizon. It is hand in hand with Jurgi’s search for a method to celebrate.
I love how dried up flowers look and the weathered heather too. Exposed and visible roots as you walk down the moors. That always catches my eye. We often go for long walks as a family and I take in the feeling that place provides. Really absorbing it all in. Noticing how it makes me feel being there.
I find these simple drawings of flowers, speak to me of her character with volume and clarity.
The subject is not grand nor horizon spanning but precious and within reach. The conversation between Jurgi and these flowers is intimate and full of love. The mark making assured and so sensual, a true clarity of voice. There is little hesitation or doubt. They are acts of faith in her own ability.
In these small pieces I can see how the strength and distinctiveness of her touch in drawing enables her paintings to become complete. For it is in the details, the muted colours, the textures, the reflection in the dew.
To see things that others do not is the easy part. How to express the wonder of it? How to take that first step? … start with the unnoticed… the details …the bigger picture follows through self-belief.
Rust 42×29.5cm. mixed media on paper
These delicate, dancing marks drawn over the sprawling wash of colour and shape, offer us the intimacy of Jurgi’s voice.
Jurgi possesses exquisite drawing skill. This inclusion of her self is quite clearly evident and in this undeniable strength of character and deliberation I see the magic in her painting begin to reveal itself …
….the story begins to be told.
Jurgi speaks, she sings … direct, instinctive and with adoration.
Untamed 81x102cm mixed media on canvas