Australian leisure rituals and stories of rural community spirit have been the focal point of all Jo White’s past creative endeavours. Rural Australian life is a subject Jo holds affectionately close to her heart. In this solo exhibition Jo turns her observant eye to you-beaut, dinky-di, true-blue Aussie-isms of the Australian vernacular.
Our slang traces its wryly mockery and wit to the early Australian convicts who devised their own language to escape the guards eavesdropping. Many of which were terms from Londoner criminal slang, but in the isolation of Australia, came to have their own meanings. An eighteenth century boned breech’d brisket-beater is now our modern day showpony wombat proddywhoddy. Jo captures this connection between old and new Australia within her bold paintings that are simultaneously nostalgic yet modern. In her solo exhibition Straight To The Pool Room, under Jo’s limelight is a staggering fifty visual idiom paintings which shine a light on the wryly mocking slang yet always affectionate language of Australia.
Growing up in the rural farmland of New South Wales, Jo’s childhood was brewed in the cuppa of shedtalk, for those in the big smoke that haven’t heard this term, see Australian slang runs so deep that even location plays a role, shedtalk is the talk between neighbours over a wire fence, it is spoken on the farms, and obviously in the shed. Only a fluent shedtalker can pick up on the subtle difference between Ducks on the pond and Whales in the bay.
The title of Jo White’s show pays homage to great Australian cinema The Castle, specifically the film’s colloquial comedy revealing firmly established expressions as part of the Australian vernacular. Though Jo’s paintings are visual depictions of humorous sayings, their aesthetic beauty wasn’t skirted. Each painting is a meticulously painted treasure deserving to go straight to the poolroom.
Read more and view the show’s catalogue here.