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Winsome Jobling – The Nature of Paper

Since 1985, Winsome Jobling has been creating art to reflect the beauty and nature of the Northern Territory. Jobling’s earthy and organic work has earned the Darwin artist a well-deserved place in a three-part exhibition series by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT).

By Tierney White

MAGNT began this series with Evolution: A Disrespective by Rob Brown in 2014. Now, after a career spanning three decades and with a new book of work to be released, Winsome Jobling is next in line with this wonderful exhibition, including works that haven’t been displayed since the mid 90's. Exhibition cocurator, Wendy Wood, said it’s important to showcase local talent.

“We need to support our arts community – there’s some fantastic work being made out there. We need to constantly profile our local artists because they are being profiled nationally and internationally, so it’s only fitting we celebrate their achievements here,” said Wood.

“There is such a breadth of talent in the Territory with art that uniquely reflects the region – art that mirrors our world through subject matter and materials. How brilliant is it that we can share these artists’ stories and creativity such as Winsome’s?”

Winsome Jobling studied at Alexander Mackie College in Sydney, majoring in painting and textiles before discovering papermaking in her final year. After graduating, Jobling moved to Darwin and then spent three years living in Belyuen – a remote Indigenous community located on the Cox Peninsula.

“I learnt about plants and plant fibres from the Elder women. I used to go out bush hunting and gathering, and they taught me about fibre and dyes, and hunting and fishing, and – everything! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Jobling said.

In 1985, the artist returned to Darwin where she has practised the art of papermaking, printmaking, drawing and sculpture ever since. This survey exhibition highlights 20 years of Jobling’s work, including her signature handmade paper, made from plant materials and coloured with the Earth’s pigments.

Although being well-recognised as an artist in the region, being the centre of attention doesn’t come easily to Jobling, who prefers to sit back and allow others to receive her art in their own way.

“I think most artists are similar. It’s like you allow the work to speak for you and hope you can hide in the background,” she said.

“The work reflects the Territory and the environment – it’s made from it. It talks about environmental issues, and the paper itself comes from plants, so of course we need to reflect on what’s happening in our environment, using the pigments and the dirt.”

The exhibition launches March 10, with a uniquely-Winsome ritual to kick things off.

“I always wanted a stainless steel Hollander beater to make my paper and I finally ordered one from a guy in New York. When it arrived, I wanted to have a big party and make cocktails in it, so we’ll be doing that at the opening,” Jobling exclaimed.

Don’t miss your chance to see this impressive body of work by this talented, humble, and thoughtful local artist.

Click here for the event listing.

Click here for the Papermaking from Recycled Paper (ages 9-16) workshop.

Click here for the Papermaking from Plant Fibres (16+) workshop.

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