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Other Projects 2012

Red Right Hand, was another collaborative project, this time between a young photographer Nathan Milner and myself. He had taken some photos using himself as a model to depict the theme of self-loathing and had made a casual comment that these images would look great as a painting, so I took on the challenge. I started the foreground figure in charcoal just to get a feel for the theme and decided on a red background to try to push the figure forward. Not knowing what to do next, it stayed like that for about 6 months.

In the summer of 2012, I was fortunate to go to the William Kentridge exhibition at ACMI in Melbourne and was so inspired by his charcoal animations that I immediately knew how to finish this drawing. It needed the second figure hovering above the first, to create a sense of conflict between the two in simulation of the internal voices that can contribute to a sense of self loathing. To go with the dark theme of this work, it seemed appropriate to give it the title from Nick Cave’s ballad, a stroke of luck because the red right hand in the drawing was accidental or maybe it was subconscious.

Red Right Hand

Charcoal pastel and acrylic on paper, 102x92cm

Purchased Private Collection

Georges Seurat  ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte’ 1884

Oil on canvas  208x308cm

Butterfly Hat  Oil on board 30 x 46 cm

Out of the Blue  Oil on board 30 x 46 cm

Janine Good The Lost Balloon 2014 Oil on canvas 120 x 180 cm

I couldn’t attend the Race day but the extensive photographic documentation by Sue Jarvis and others enabled me to create a ‘picture’ of how the day may have looked. Using more than 30 photographs pieced together I created a version of a typical country race day including important details like the Grand stand, the Titian Lodge Stables in the background, the finish line, various umbrellas and marquis and even a program. It is based on the composition of French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, painted in 1884.

Other Projects 2014/15

 

 

To me the race day photos shared the same theme of people outdoors enjoying a warm sunny day that was present in the famous French painting and felt it worth trying to capture a similar atmosphere.

 

What struck me the most about the Pakenham race day was that all kinds of people were there enjoying the event – young and old from all different backgrounds, some dressed up, some casual – and I wanted to convey this sense of Community in my painting.  

Janine Good The Lost Balloon 2014 Oil on canvas 120 x 180 cm

The Lost Balloon (Family Picnic Day at the Country Races, Pakenham) 2014

 

To commemorate the closing down and last race day for the Pakenham Cup held at the Pakenham Racecourse in February this year before its relocation to Tynong, a group of local artists attended the day to document this historical event. This project was initiated by Gembrook Artist Sue Jarvis for SECAN (South Eastern Contemporary Artist Network Inc.) and involved photographing the event so that SECAN members could then produce artworks for historical purposes. This painting  is one of the results of this project.

 

 

The painting started with the foreground group on the right hand side, a woman with a pram and 2 young girls, dressed up for the day. A narrative emerged in my imagination that they could have balloons and one of the girls has lost her balloon.  Many other narratives emerged as the painting took form – the fashions of the field group being photographed, the stilt men surrounded by admirers, people enjoying the shade on the hot February day (incidentally it was the same day as the Gippsland bushfires in Morwell).  Relationships developed between characters in the world of the painting.

It not only documents the setting but captures the colour and atmosphere of the day. To pay homage to Seurat’s original painting the reclining figure front left has been retained (although altered slightly) along with the pointillist border.  

The Red Balloon took 150 hours to complete and contains the portraits of more than 50 men, women, children and horses attending the Race Day.

 

Pakenham lies about 60 km from Melbourne and was until recently the gateway to Gippsland and rural existence. The title has been seen by some locals as symbolic of losing their festive grounds. The Racetrack also served as the Pakenham Showgrounds - a big event in agricultural districts and its disappearance marks the changing of the culture from rural agricultural to suburban. Some comments by locals:

 

 

 

 

During the painting of The Lost Balloon I became ‘fascinated by the fascinators’ and hats and fashions in general at the race day and started some paintings of these. I feel there’s the making of a solo exhibition in these works. This kind of fashion is quite exclusive to the races, I can’t think of any other  public event where hats feature so creatively.’

Bones  wrote

"Absolutely brilliant, Janine! Congratulations a thousand times - it's just fantastic! A true work of art and the work of a most accomplished artist. The historical significance shows you as someone with a deep appreciation for where you live and the capacity to view it from beyond. Indeed, this day was significant for Pakenham, once a country town with a racecourse in its belly, like so many country towns, where local folk relaxed and let the day unfold, each with their own special chapter in the town's story. Now, Pakenham is far too urban for this kind of lounging dawdle in its belly. You have captured a truly significant moment and space. The reference to Seurat's painting provides a very subtle reinforcement of a melancholy that lies beneath the exuberance of a beautiful day, echoes of days now past. Good for you, Neen and dam good for Australia! xxx"

 

Kath wrote: "It encapsulates the changing of old guard to the new. I remember what Cardinia & Casey was like 45 years ago when I had cows as neighbours. No more and that extends to Baw Baw now."

 

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