I continue my tribute to the flora and fauna of the Country of the Jinibara People on which I live and work up in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland through this body of work ‘Foliage II. I acknowledge the care and sustainable land management of the original custodians of this land for millennia until forced removal by colonial settlers some 200 years ago. The deforestation that was to follow was brutal, leaving only small pockets of remnant rain forest, such as on the property where I live, leaving much of the slopes vulnerable to land slip and weed infestation. For the last 20 years my family have worked to expand these pockets of flora, planting many of the species that appear in this exhibition.
My works are a celebration of the beauty of the foliage I am now surrounded by - The subtle palettes of the banksia integrifolia, the striking branch formations of the bunya and the playful formations of the zig-zag wattle all inform this body of work and my adulation for this landscape.
My one lone ‘weeds’ piece however depicts the clumsy beauty of the lantana and other invasive weed species that dot the landscape I walk in everyday, jarring against the relative harmony of native species, but invoking a guilty delight in their lolly-like prettiness, one of the many escapees from exotic settler gardens.
My love for nature and this landscape is tinged with a sadness however as I witness the collapse of ecosystems around me - the near disappearance of all night flying bugs, beetles and moths that ten years ago would lodge into my wet oil paint - the tempering of the dawn chorus that used to flood my bedroom and consciousness at first light.
The most recent afront of this collapse is in the ancient towering bunyas that remain in small gullies close to where I live. They are succumbing to human spread disease at an alarming rate, exacerbated by climate change, dropping leaves and turning brown – giant dead monuments and reminders of what is at stake here and where we are heading.
Folliage II seeks to embrace and celebrate the beauty of the unique flora of this continent at this pivotal point in time.
Judith Sinnamon, 2023
Attunement to light – how it flows over, plays upon and defines structure, shape and colour – is Judith Sinnamon’s primary concern. Her carefully crafted studies of Australian native flora capture each plant’s singular gesture and presence, compelling the viewer to engage with a unique species as well as to witness the artist’s dialogue with paint.
Within her work, the nonhuman (plants, trees, flowers, fruit) and the nonliving (fabric, bowls, baskets) offer a source for contemplation of the world’s strange familiarity. Whether painting a still life of domestic objects or a landscape en plein air, Sinnamon’s ability to see and capture the intimacy of things is founded upon intuitive use of the palette of native flora balanced with a personal, almost sculptural rendering of her subject matter.
Judith brings tree branches, blossoms and leaves into the studio, where compositional decisions crop branches, celebrate negative space or experiment with pattern and overlapping, chaotic movement. These indoor specimen studies, while loosely related to early botanical illustration, are executed with an eye toward propagating foliage across the canvas, much like the natural generation of tree limbs, to surpass botany’s cool empiricism and embrace a deeply felt coexistence with nature.
Judith Sinnamon has a Diploma of Fine Art majoring in Painting from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Her work is held by the Mater Private Hospital Brisbane Art Collection, the Kawana Private Hospital Art Collection and numerous private collections in Australia as well as internationally.
Carrie McCarthy, 2021
Lives and Works in Queensland
Diploma of Fine Art (Painting), Queensland College of Art
Bachelor of Teaching, Griffith University, Brisbane
'Foliage II', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Foliage', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Illuminations', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
Preview of 'Illuminations', The Getty, Los Angeles, USA
'Bimblebox', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'1770', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Yangon Downtown', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Wallum', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Melaleuca', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'Flora from a Fragile Land', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
'New Paintings', EDWINA CORLETTE, Brisbane
Solo Exhibition, Marks and Gardner, Mt Tamborine
Solo Exhibition, Doggett Street Studio, Brisbane
Solo Exhibition, Marks and Gardner, Mt Tamborine
'Artefacts', Art Factory, South Brisbane
'Solo Exhibition', Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Ferry Road Studio, South Brisbane
We are delighted to announce that JUDITH SINNAMON is a finalist in the 2023 Brisbane Portrait Prize for her portrait of Nathan Appo.
Judith sought to capture Nathan's incredible warmth and generosity and a wisdom that comes from 65,000 years of continuous sustainable culture and land management with a deep love for country and humanity at its core.
The Brisbane Portrait Prize is all about celebrating Brisbane portrait artists and their sitters, while encouraging public engagement with the arts.
Judith is having a solo exhibition with us October 25.
Watching the ABC’s political program Insiders, Queensland artist Judith Sinnamon was struck by Katharine Murphy’s ‘paintability’.
‘Katharine often appears on the Insiders panel, where she brings a refreshing, cut-through perspective to the fug of Australian politics,’ says Sinnamon. ‘I feel tremendous gratitude towards Katharine and all journalists of strong conviction and integrity, who speak truth to power at a time of rampant misinformation and media mogul influence.’
Murphy has worked in the parliamentary press gallery in Kamberri/Canberra since 1996. She is currently political editor of Guardian Australia and the host of a weekly podcast, Australian politics. She is the author of On disruption, an analysis of the impact of the internet on journalism.
Sinnamon captures the award-winning journalist, with her colourful clothing and animated face, listening to the podcast Pod save America in her light-filled home.
‘During our sitting, I drew loose charcoal sketches and took numerous photos,’ says Sinnamon. ‘I then returned to my [Sunshine Coast] Hinterland studio and began the month-long process of rendering Katharine’s portrait – my first in the Archibald Prize.’
The Museum of Brisbane has acquired Judith Sinnamon's portrait of Pamela Easton, one half of renowned fashion label duo Easton Pearson. The Museum's Easton Pearson Archive is the largest textile collection from a single Australian fashion house held by a museum.
The Archive features the complete collection of internationally acclaimed fashion house Easton Pearson and comprises more than 3,300 signature garments, as well as accessories, original sketches, look books, ephemera and runway footage.
Easton Pearson, created by Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson, was one of Australia’s most successful fashion houses. From the launch of the label in 1998 to its close in 2016, Easton Pearson’s eclectic, boldly patterned and embellished fashions graced catwalks and showrooms across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, America and Australia.
To coincide with Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art's exhibition O’KEEFFE, PRESTON, COSSINGTON SMITH 'Making Modernism', Judith Sinnamon has been invited to conduct a series of still-life workshops throughout May and June 2017.
O'Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith were renowned for their modern adaptation of traditional approaches to still life. In this special hands-on workshop working with oil paints, participants will be invited to join Judith Sinnamon for an exploration of the still life genre and experiment with light, colour and form to depict Australian native flora.
Judith Sinnamon is an artist based in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Judith studied painting at the Queensland College of Art in the early 1980's. The surrounding coastal flora informs Judith's art practice in both her still life and landscape works. She exhibits regularly with the Edwina Corlette Gallery.
Judith's paintings reflect her experience living in Myanmar. Margie writes about Judith's journey painting in a foreign place, far from the familiar Queensland coastal landscape.
“Yangon is an extreme environment, intense. The sounds and smells are so full on. People, people, people. Going from trees to people was probably a most logical thing for me. One of the first things that struck me were the melodic calls of the women hawking in the streets, sounds floating up to us on the 7th floor of our new home on 37th Street.”