Josie Morway's distinctive style is characterized by her intense attention to detail of the animals she portrays, technical ability, geometric shapes, and hand lettering. The atmospheric nature of her work creates a mysterious aura around her figures, inviting the viewer in to to explore. Her latest series of works is entitled Toward New Gardens.
Like everyone else, I've been feeling a lot of sometimes conflicting, sometimes cohesive emotions over these past months. As an intersectional environmentalist, some of the concerns and passions I've held for years seem to have been dealt great blows, while others have been validated, gained momentum. I've gained awareness of insufficiencies and complicities within myself, while also feeling gratitude for the positive movements I've been able to be part of. Amidst all this, making art can feel by turns inexcusably frivolous or absolutely crucial.
I've found myself really drawn to news and images of toppling monuments; I suppose those monuments themselves were someone's art, yet the graffiti, the upending, the beheading, the shrouding of these statues is a form of art – maybe a poetry – that we need now. A big part of me wants to simply delight in the destruction of an old order, to burn things down. But I also believe my role as an artist is to attempt to offer a vision of what will rise from the ashes.
I'm using toppled monuments as a literal setting as well as a metaphor within a new series of paintings that I'm calling "Toward new gardens". I'm picturing, and hoping to help manifest, a future in which there is a resurgence of the wild, the fertile, the indigenous. I'm hoping original plants, animals and people can thrive again where they've been displaced by all that these monuments represent. I'm hoping that we'll find new ways to nurture, to regenerate and to save natural space, both physical and internal. - Josie Morway.