BLOOMTIME, Jenny Crompton
As she moved from inner city Melbourne to the rich coastal waters surrounding the Bellarine Peninsula, Crompton’s practise became more meditative and immediate. Living at sea, Jenny has been able to reflect on the land as it changes. Her current works are formed from her own creative impulses; she uses natural, found and manmade material to enhance her meditative practise. Each of Jenny’s chosen materials are recognised and repurposed to create various creatures that range from accurate representations of organic life to pure abstraction. Jenny looks at each organism microscopically, defining the patterns and shapes, which are later reflected subconsciously in her sculptures. Yet, even throughout the disparate forms of her work, Jenny maintains a consistent language of pattern and construction.
As a prolific Australian artist, Jenny’s work has featured in both international and national exhibitions and is part of the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Victoria. Last year, Jenny’s sculptural installation Sea Country Spirits at the Lorne Sculpture Biennale in Australia won the 2017 Sculpture Trail Award as well as the People’s Choice Award, making her the first artist to win both prizes in the same biennale. Her most recent exhibition Phototaxis at the Biennale of Australian Artists utilized light stimulus to capture the fragile complexity of Phototaxis organisms. Jenny’s interest in biology, evolution and organic materials has diffused in the sculptural works of her upcoming exhibition Bloomtime.
Bloomtime explores the period when microscopic marine life blooms across the coast. These totemic sculptures directly reference the unexpected emergence of blue bottles across the Anglesea shore in 2016. At the time, Jenny noted this sudden change and immediately responded to the drastic event: she began to consider the affect of the blue bottle on the eco system. The aerated sculptures in Bloomtime came to mimic the act of floating, breathing and growing Jenny witnessed across the coast.
Crompton’s hive of wired sculptures form the outline of phytoplankton and micro-algae. Working with recycled copper wire, feathers, kangaroo bones, driftwood, paint and resin, Jenny blended earth objects with man made material to present her ethereal celestial works. The laborious nature of sewing wire enables time for the sculpture to change and grow. Jenny’s intricate line work, lightweight composition and fragile forms in Bloomtime absorb the rhythm of nature. The fastidiously executed hanging sculptures appear both ancient and thoroughly inventive.
Bloomtime signifies the moment when the waters go unseen, like spirits, directly responding to the seasons, climate change and the pressures of the natural world. For Jenny Crompton, the health and vivacity of these creatures ultimately affects the vitality for life on the coast; “the coastline is so magnificent, respect the animal and plant life that resides in the water ways,” Jenny preaches. The exhibition highlight’s Crompton’s joyous artistic practise whilst also corresponds so effortlessly to the current state of nature and focuses directly on the exquisite aspects of the environment.
Jenny Crompton’s Bloomtime shows at MARS Gallery from December 1 to December 20, 2018.
MARS Gallery, 7 James Street, Windsor