Jo Hardy, Survivors, 2016

SII Jo Hardy.jpg
SII Jo Hardy.jpg

Jo Hardy, Survivors, 2016

230.00

Limited edition digital print on 310gsm Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Archival Paper 

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‘Survivors’ is but a remnant of the title of this mixed media work. The long version is something like ‘Decimated roadside survivors in living colour among the shrouded monochromatic ghosts of former multitudes”. It’s about loss. Once – maybe a mere 300 years ago – the land surrounding the high clay ridge road in inland rural Northland where I live was completely clothed in Kauri forest. The picture shows (in acrylic colour) its heirs, the few surviving Kauri rickers which, now the land has been cleared for grazing, still cling tenaciously to life on the thin, no-man’s land strips between the borders of Council road maintenance operations and farmers’ boundary fences. Looking east two kilometres from the top corner to the middle distance tree-line there are seven roadside rickers (two looking not too well) and, furthest away, one precious ancient giant Kauri hiding in a small secret, mercifully covenanted patch of bush. The trees depicted in black, white and pencilled shades of grey represent their felled ancestors, cloaked in the symbolic white shrouds of the bush cover which once protected them.

Jo Hardy (d. July 2016) was a magic realist painter. She produced metaphorical narrative images created from available realities, from imperatives dictated by process and from thin air. She worked slowly, on her knees on the studio floor, building up multiple dilute layers of acrylic washes until the pictures glow. She reveled in detail. She thought of the paintings as a kind of visual poetry. Schooled in Dunedin and Christchurch long ago Jo lived and worked on top of an isolated hill near Maungakaramea. Her paintings have been exhibited widely in Aotearoa since 1973.