Artist Profile: Jacki Archibald



JACKI ARCHIBALD BELIEVES that art is a process, not a product. It’s not surprising, then, that the artist has recently immersed herself in the ancient pro- cess-based medium of encaustic wax. “It has provided not only a sense of who I am, but also away to remain true to myself,” says the Brisbane-based artist.

Encaustic wax works are made using a combination of melted waxes and pigments or oil paints, which are fused with a heat gun or torch (encaustic actually means “to burn”). “I’ve been fortunate to travel and work with other artists as this ancient process is being revived,” says Jacki. “It started in the USA, but is still fairly unknown in Australia.”

Jacki works mostly from stored memories, keeping an open mind to allow spontaneous discoveries to develop into her flowing compositions. Her works often start with collage, using interesting biomorphic forms that appear in the process of monoprinting with wax on a hotplate. Luscious, organic forms are built up and contrasted with layers of melted colour.

“I tend to have a fascination with aerial views focussing on colours of the Australian coastline, along with the human figure, which to me, seems to belong in the landscape,” says Jacki. You can see this marriage of landscape and figuration in her work Jack in the Green, which incorporates a mythical green man – “an environmental guardian,” says the artist – into the undulating hills. “Close inspection of my paintings reveals how this medium is unlike any other.”

Jacki’s studio, surrounded by quiet bush, allows her the freedom to work with many different materials. “Sometimes I share my wax and burn passion with classes for others, to the sounds of lively music and an abundance of birdlife,” she says.

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