‘Dear Leader (Jacinda)’ is a new work on paper for Locust Jones’ 2020 solo show. Through his free-spirited, uncensored works on paper, Jones chronicles issues of contemporary politics. By tuning in to relentless news cycles, his style of commentary presents collisions of words and images that unfold like a warped diary. The repetition of eyes, faces and a graphic, pulsing grid in ‘Dear Leader (Jacinda)’ recalls the net of connections and surveillance that typifies contemporary news. A portrait of Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern swells out of this line work, meeting the viewer’s gaze with keen, full eyes.
“Turn on and tune in, this is the never ending 24 hour seven day news cycle. In my drawings, I try to push the pause button on all this – a snapshot of the moment of the news in that time.”
Locust Jones has been invited to residences across the world, most recently in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. His works have been exhibited in New York, Berlin, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mumbai, Auckland and across Australia. He is renowned for his monumental works on paper that unfold like diaristic scrolls, one of which was acquired in 2018 by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Locust has participated in numerous museum exhibitions including: Art Gallery of South Australia, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. His work is held in major public collections including: Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Artbank; Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; National Gallery of Victoria; Australian War Memorial; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand; James Wallace Trust, Auckland, New Zealand; National Gallery of Australia; Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery; Kunstwerk Museum; Collection of Peter W. and Alison Klein, Stuttgart, Germany and the Shepparton Art Museum.