Jessie Yvette Journoud-Ryan - 'Raconteuse'
Wednesday 12 June - Sunday 7 July 2019
"I like a good story. We all have a story of our own. The crockery used to create these pieces have their own histories too.
Raconteuse is a reflection on a selection of anecdotes - be it fables, song lyrics or my own personal narratives. The presence of animals - particularly birds - in my work stems from my interest in Jean de la Fontaine’s work Les Fables de la Fontaine: these fables were ever-present throughout my childhood in France. One fable tells the story of little birds who neglect the wise and well-travelled swallow’s advice, leading to their eventual demise. Another piece - a variation of Aesop’s The Deer and the Vine - is an age-old uncompromising tale on ingratitude.
As a dual citizen of France and Australia, having my feet on both shores, birds reflect my personal narratives of migration, belonging and displacement. The migratory process, a long and epic journey and the trials along the way.
Many of the works are a personal reflection on the longing for home, nostalgia and the tangling or untangling of my own understanding of my multicultural identity – hence my question on duality: Zebra Finch/Finch-Zebra in Duality: I Could be Rich Like a Wandering Gypsy.
Feathers here are weighty artefacts that reminisce on weightless memories, an oscillation between reverie and burden. In this particular series, they are meditative pieces with a focus on the fish scale pattern, a prominent shape in my work and which is a reference to my French heritage: one of the many mesmerising repetitive traditional patterns of the glazed roof tiles of Burgundy.
And finally: Cockatoos.The sound and sight of this raucous and riotous bunch in the landscape of my Australian patch, deeply resonate home to me too…"