Joanna Davies answered the question, what do you do if your art studio is too small for your exhibition pieces, by putting an old shipping container on her block of land, and began painting from there.

Davies presents her latest collection of oils in her backyard, pieces which were painted in her container studio on the creek at Brookfield. This latest exhibition reflects the bucolic setting with children and animals featuring heavily except for a couple of pieces painted en plein air in Italy, which were finished in the studio before stretching. It could be argued that the whole exhibition is created en plein air, due to the containers open surroundings. There is a definite freedom and movement in the brushstrokes that give each painting an energy and emotion different from her standard studio worked pieces.

“It started as somewhere to keep the mower and Simon’s tools but these were quickly moved out and I moved in with the dogs, canvases, paints and turpentine laden rags,” Davies said.

Davies became entranced in her new studio, explaining the setting on the creek is extremely peaceful, and a shipping container lends itself well to hanging and drying of large pieces.

“I just drilled some screws all the way around the container and its perfect for my pieces which can be up to 2500mm wide.”

There is no power to the studio so when the light fades, Davies is finished for the day, intent on returning to her art with the rising sun.

Davies thinks the urgency of working with the light and weather pushes her to come to the studio mentally prepared to work and with a strong singular thought on how the piece will progress for the day.

To Davies, being so open to the elements has its trials but the abundance of natural light is beautiful and an absolute pleasure to work with.

It is rough, rugged, smelly work creating an exhibition of oils in this setting but everyday feels like a treat for Davies and the dogs in her container by the creek.

Art lovers can visit Davies’ work at the New Farm Graydon Gallery in March.

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