My ROAMING GEOMETRY exhibition at the SIDE GALLERY in Brisbane winds up tomorrow, friday the 23rd. I wanted to take this opportunity to share the catalogue essay (below) which I felt to be so representative of this body of work and my practice in general. I also wanted to share the beautiful install and portrait shots taken by Lara Furst. The exhibition has been well received so far and it is always a wonderful feeling my paintings resonate. There are several pieces still available – please take a look at the catalogue here if you are interested in purchasing from this collection. I will alsol have the House of the Sun prints in store for a few more weeks – they are super affordable and fun!
CATALOGUE ESSAY – Jess McNicol
Jasmine Mansbridge talks about her practice in terms of a metaphysical scale. The full-time artist and mother of five describes how philosophy and human experience inform her approach to art making, and occasionally, she smiles so warmly and with such honesty that the gravity of her conversation is punctuated with sunshine. In the end, it’s impossible not to see the very same synthesis of precise certainty and authentic love in her work.
As audiences, we expect that artists’ works serve us. We look for parts of the work that will act as a gateway to facilitate connection to our inner selves, and we are drawn into Mansbridge’s work for this reason. Between the shapes and planes, created to challenge our sense of visual perspective and her intuitive distillation of meditative practice into a visual language, we are drawn into her Escher-esque utopias. She talks about her work as more of an architect than a visual artist, and central to her practice is the construction of what she terms Portals. This is a helpful term for points or spaces in her compositions open to engagement – ones that draw you in or that you see from a great height. Understanding the portal as a concept is fundamental to understanding Mansbridge’s practice, where meticulous geometry aims to make physical representations of self-awareness that transport the viewer. The meditative work asks you to rise above and be intentional while simultaneously sinking into internal reflection.
Jasmine’s body of work for Side Gallery, Roaming Geometry, is her second to hang in the space, and like her first, I AM THE MUSE, it is a celebration of clean geometry and sophisticated colour palettes. This time, however, there is a significant difference as Roaming Geometry is made almost entirely of close, tight compositions and select muted colours. These are acute portals, and the artist explains that this more intense, focussed work came about through a period of prolific catharsis.
In the face of grief and reconciling the complexities of several significant losses, Mansbridge was driven to make art to slow down and be present in mindfulness. Much of her recent work has been informed by this approach. Works from this collection, like Be Here Now, Journey to the Center of You, and We are a Neverending Story, embody this introspective lens through glimpses of black voids and circular, inward-facing compositions.
The title for the show – too, came from this intense period where Mansbridge admits to taking the canvases with her while she moved from place to place; An interesting counterpoint to the idea of slow, deliberate making, but one that speaks to just how fundamentally intertwined the artist is with her practice. Mansbridge is clear that Roaming Geometry is not a body of work about melancholy, but instead about the recognition of love and intention in life. While I can imagine a silent expanse in the suggestion of a Surreal temple in House of the Sun, and the embodiment of a lover’s touch in Soul Trees, ultimately, this is no intention to create a narrative. This body of work, she hopes, is a catalyst for the audience to consider their own abundance and immediacy. So while Mansbridge’s work is an intensely personal outpouring of gratitude for the moment at hand in her therapeutic flow state, Roaming Geometry as a collection became a recognition of simplicity in the face of the overwhelming, a visual record of lessons learnt about presence. Love in this moment, as there is untold value in brevity.