Field of Mars
28th July – 27th August 2016
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Jessica Rankin’s inaugural exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery ‘Field of Mars’ was inspired by the artist’s last trip to Australia in 2014, when Rankin came to find her mother’s burial site, in the aptly named ‘Field of Mars’ cemetery outside Sydney. Rankin’s mother was the prominent poet and playwright Jennifer Rankin who passed away in 1979. Her poetic influence is expressed in Rankin’s practice through textual arrangements and word collages that she composes and recomposes using methodologies of chance.
Jessica Rankin’s visual language explores the ways meaning may be ascribed onto landscape. The artist investigates personal connections to the environment by capturing the composition of the sky on dates of particular personal significance. The resulting compositions reflect those moments with what she refers to as mindscapes. The watercolours and drawings in the exhibition are both universal as well as being pockets of memories in a personal narrative. The embroideries suggest abstract landscapes, which stem from recollections, external observations and internal experiences. Using needle and thread, each lyrical composition is embedded with layers, codes and constellations that comprise psycho-geographic maps.
Rankin’s interest in the way meaning is associated with natural phenomena has led her to explore astronomical studies of the stars as well as poetic astrological interpretations. She is also drawn to trans-cultural relationships to land and instils in her work a wide spectrum of meaning.