Joe Furlonger’s skills as a draughtsman form the basis of his artistic practice, which encompasses a range of media, including painting, sculpture and printmaking. As he has described, ‘I think about myself primarily as a painter but the drawings… can stimulate me, or they can problem solve.’ Whether reduced in content and palette, or animated by vibrant, impasto brushstrokes, his artworks are characterised by a calligraphic mark making that acts to anchor the compositions. The effect exhibits the influence of the artist’s travels through Asia, and his experimentation with Chinese brush painting.
Oscillating between representation and abstraction, Furlonger’s expressive landscapes, portraits and figure studies are drawn from his deep engagement with lived experience, and his ability to improvise on visual motifs. Born in Cairns, raised on farmland on the outskirts of Brisbane, and having lived and worked in Queensland for most of his life, Furlonger’s affinity with his home state is evinced in his work. His sojourns to the country around his home in the Samford Valley, and further afield to locales such as Carnarvon Gorge and the Capricorn Coast have inspired paintings such as Hills, Carnarvon, Central Queensland, which was awarded the 2002 Fleurieu Art Prize, and Wet Summer, Darling Downs, which won the Tattersalls’s Club Landscape Art Prize in 2011. Speaking of his tendency to immortalise the expansive qualities of the Australian landscape, Furlonger has said ‘I find parallels with the sea. I feel comfortable in big, flat areas.’
Courtesy of Bruce Heiser Projects, Brisbane
Joe Furlonger is represented by Bruce Hieser Projects. Visit www.bruceheiserprojects.com.au/ for more information.