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Locust Jones’ news-inspired artwork takes plague proportions in AGNSW Dobell drawing show

Blue Mountains artist Locust Jones pictured with one of his artworks at Sydney Olympic Park last year. Picture: supplied

 

THERE are news junkies, and then there’s Locust Jones.

The Blue Mountains artist says he is “permanently plugged in to the chaos of the day”. He wakes to the radio news, he livestreams Al Jazeera while he’s in the studio, and he religiously scours newspapers and magazines.

Assassinations, coups and terror incidents become a gigantic mash-up in Jones’ works, including the 10m-long scroll-inspired drawing he will exhibit in Playback: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Apart from Jones, the other artists to be included in the show are Vernon Ah Kee, Sharon Goodwin, Laura Hindmarsh, Dorota Mytych, Jason Phu, Lucienne Rickard and Nick Strike.

All the artists explore the connection between drawing and the moving image, and their sources include archives, newspapers, the cinema and the internet.

Locust’s Dobell work is in ink, pencil and watercolour and is called The end of the beginning, New Year’s Eve to April Fools 2018.

 

A detail of Locust Jones’s 10-metre long work, The end of the beginning, New Year’s Eve to April fools 2018. The entire work, presented in the form of a mounted scroll, will be seen in Playback: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of NSW. Picture: supplied

 

“The subjects range from insects to war, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump calling Africa a s... hole, the death of Mark E. Smith from The Fall, a portrait of Jodie Foster, Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand prime minister, Earth, wolves, mass migration, Israel/Gaza, nerve agents and Iran,” Jones says.

“With all the information in the world that I ingest and process, I have a fountain of information that I can draw from.”

 

Playback: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, Art Gallery of NSW; July 7 to October 28, free, artgallery.nsw.gov.au