Life is full of issues we don’t want to deal with. But we can’t ignore such an issue for very long before we find we are in a situation that the reality doesn’t disappear, just like we can’t ignore the elephant if it were a real one in the room. The only way to overcome it is to face and embrace the fear boldly.
Just over 20 years ago, our cover artist Junko Go migrated to Australia from Japan, finally settling in Tasmania. Since then, she has been searching for her personal identity, redefining her cultural identity and developing new perspectives.
Her paintings are at once abstract and figurative, simple and profound, dark and humorous. Junko’s works, based on fables about animals, draw inspiration from Eastern wisdom and are executed with child-like sensibilities. Subtle paint strokes are overlaid with bold lyrical drawings which map her tales over the picture plane like a storyboard.
‘My goal is to create images which are strong and soft, bold and precise, beautiful and ugly, figurative and abstract, all at the same time. Through my imagery, I intend to provoke quiet reflection about what it is to be human.’
Characterised by a lightness and delicacy of touch, her art also features a subtle sense of colour and an inventive use of shapes and marks.
Junko’s work speaks visually in a narrative way. ‘I see my work as communication. I am not trying to tell what to think or classify things, rather I am asking. I aim to provoke a deeper awareness of what it is to be human, and a genuine appreciation of how wonderful it is to be alive.’
Elephant in a room 2011 by Junko Go
acrylic, oil pastel and charcoal on canvas, 77x101cm
Cover image © Junko Go, courtesy of the artist and
Gallerysmith, North Melbourne. www.gallerysmith.com.au