The new year began well with a two-page feature of my work in New Visionary Magazine, a New York-based art magazine. Read on for an in-depth exploration of my work.
This is the text as it appears in issue 5, their first Women's Issue.
Using acrylic, ink, oil pastel and collage, Freya Job creates abstract works on paper and cradled panel that celebrate the enduring beauty and resilience of the Earth in the face of ecological crisis. Her scarred yet beautiful landscapes confront the current paradigm of extraction and consumption of nature and challenge us to see the body of the Earth as our body.
Freya lives in a small town in rural Australia with her partner, two boys and two dogs. During the Black Summer of 2019/2020, which devastated 13.4 million hectares of Eastern Australia, her town was cut off by road for seven weeks as bushfires raged on three sides.
It was in the long period of healing after the fires that Freya first picked up a paintbrush. Four months later she won the River of Art Prize, with her two winning works being described by judges as “both striking and hauntingly beautiful”.
Her work has been featured in regional media and she is now exhibiting regularly in local group shows.
I paint my grief for our wounded yet enduring world, in colours and shapes borrowed from the Earth. I scratch and sand, scarring the surface – telling stories of ancient time and recent colonial desecration. And then I cover it up with shapes reminiscent of band-aids, blindfolds and useless technological fixes.
But the landscapes and ocean-scapes beneath will not be buried or controlled. They push through, laying proud flesh over the scars of extraction and abuse, and transforming the scratched and tangled lines into paths of connection.
Western capitalist culture tells us that nature is outside of us, a resource to be exploited and consumed. It fails to mention that we are part of this world we damage. My work speaks to the true horror of the Anthropocene, challenging us to with-ness the scars we leave on the landscape and the scars such violence leaves in us, for we are part of what we destroy, and what we destroy is part of us.
Yet, as much as my work is a cry of outrage, it is also a hymn to life; an invitation to remember the truth of our interconnectedness with all living beings and to reinstate respect and reciprocity for our Earth that gives us everything.