Good Weekend Art Column

Bec Juniper – Fox Galleries, Melbourne

Published March 13, 2019
Bec Juniper, 'Pillars of Hercules' (2019)

Artist: Bec Juniper

Lives: Hamilton Hill, Fremantle


Represented by:Fox Galleries (Wagner Contemporary, Sydney; Linton & Kay, Perth)

Her thing. Evocative, abstracted aerial landscapes of Western Australia.

Our take.Bec Juniper is an artist who stands in the shadow of a more famous parent. Her father, Robert Juniper, was one of the best-known painters in Western Australia, although Bec is not the least bit anxious about comparisons. In fact she is happy to credit her passion for aerial vistas to her father, and to his close friend, the great landscape photographer, Richard Woldendorp.

In this show Juniper is exhibiting her paintings alongside the ceramics of Rowley Drysdale. Fox Galleries sees the two artists as perfectly complementary, as is frequently the case with painting and ceramics.

Look out the window of a plane and you’ll see the landscape impersonating many varieties of abstract painting. Juniper plays on these associations in 6 large canvases in which she uses a range of materials, including natural pigments, to capture sweeping, dramatic views. Employing an artful blend of textures and washes she creates paintings that might be seen as complex, multi-layered abstractions were we not aware of their basis in observation. From 30,000 feet the earth takes on a particular set of rhythms, and, in the artist’s words, “a spiritual identity”.

Can I afford it?

The largest works in this show, such as Seasons on Cézanne Countryor Fabric Imprint(both 150cm by 150cm) are selling for $12,600. The smaller ones such as Pillars of Herculesor Slow Waking Reverence(both 90cm by 150cm), are $9,900. These are very reasonable sums for an established mid-career artist with a record price of $20,000. Juniper has also painted a commissioned work for $60,000 and undertaken a $380,000 public art project  – but commissions are not strictly representative of an a studio output. For artists such as Juniper it’s important not to be confined to one side of the continent, but to have their work seen and collected regularly on the east coast.

Where can I have a squiz?

Fox Galleries, 79 Langridge Street, Collingwood, Melbourne, 6 March – 2 April, 2019.


Published in The Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March, 2019