The FORE//GROUND in the Works of Josie Morway

Josie Morway’s incredible oil-on-panel paintings are hyper-realistic and yet also completely fantastical. Her menagerie of animal subjects are caught in still-life tableaus that subtly comment on environmental and global issues while evoking reverence and capturing symbolic moments seen in traditional Renaissance religious portraiture.

In recent years I’ve begun to feel the edges of my own interest in creating realistic – albeit often improbable – imagery of nature, with strict relationships between fore and backgrounds, depth, light, gravity. I’ve felt less called to spend energy creating an illusion of reality, and more toward exploring what it really feels like – from my particular moment and corner of history – to relate to the “wild”. In and out of lockdowns, through reckonings and superstorms, during new booms and busts of rare plant collecting and nature fetishism, I’ve found my relationship to the natural world more complicated, interesting, and disorienting.

In this new group of paintings, I’m baring my own desire for something oversaturated and stimulating, and hoping to honestly reflect the spinning feeling of experiencing nature through the outdoor and the indoor, the cultivated and the untamed, through wallpaper and hothouses, seed banks and preserves, as well as the truly and unknowably wild.

What is contained, and what’s uncontainable?

Where does the light come from?

If it’s all in the foreground, where do we stand? —Josie Morway

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Source: Juxtapoz Magazine