The Drawers - Judith Jurica    Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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This is a piece taken from a larger piece. The coloration is simple, a background in one color and a design in another. The pattern is floral and sometimes there is a bird. The design is modeled, only slightly. The title, 'toile' helps to orient the pattern to the cloth (toile de jouy) that was painted with romantic scenes from the eighteenth century. The cloth, often used as wall coverings called up visions from beyond the walls, just as frescoes had done or the large tapestries of the Renaissance. The little scenes depicting leisure settings for gracious lifestyles give the illusion of an endless repetition of perfect gardens where nature is ruled in and instead of the awkward crooks and curves of untamed wilderness, the flora and fauna are unruffled, designed and veering close to geometrics. These designs were placed on daily objects, cups, bowls, window boxes, fabric for dresses, book covers, tables and chairs. Women, home bound and beautifying decorated their lives. They painted landscapes and flowers. Judith Jurica's choice of 'toile' as title and subject was not without suggestions and subliminal references. Jurica has painted gardens with the hand of an Emily Carr, planting stone sculptures of Venus within the verdurous growth. Now she has gone one step further with her subtle feminism. She is painting just a portion of a garden, once removed from reality. She is painting that place where women have imagined something beyond their walls or their bolts of fabrics. She is depicting a piece taken from a larger piece that means far more than a flower or a designed bird.

Like wallpaper patterns from Europe or charming oil cloths from Mexico, the simple statement of a patch of design pulled from a larger whole, is a loaded one. It evokes a gender bias (part of a woman's world) and the words that have described shut-ins and their relationships to the wallpaper. We can enlarge upon the segment we are given and make more of it than that which is physically before us. We can attribute origin and ethnicity. Closer inspection of the broad backgrounds and bold patterns shows that they are alive, bouncing with the energy of the rendering, pencil crayoned backdrops and lines that have been left by the traces of Judith Jurica's consciousness as she rounded the curve or jabbed at the angles.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers