Halfway to the light, halfway through the night
25 Sep 1973 -
Jumaadi’s subjects are universal – love, loss, suffering, joy ‒ transcending borders, language and time. In many ways his drawings are like an ongoing visual diary that refer to both present and past, the material world and the world of the imagination. 'Halfway to the light, halfway through the night' draws from the events of the artist’s life that refer to both present and past, the material world and that of the imagination.
A monumental installation, the work calls to mind epic sagas and myths. Meaning is allusive and open to individual interpretation; the drawings can be displayed in a multitude of arrangements, suggesting infinite possibilities. The drawings represent the interdependence of people and nature. It presents the artist’s complex, ongoing personal iconography of fanciful beasts and magical figures which includes people he has known, and those he has invented. The figures have their source in landscape – both people in landscape, and landscape becoming people. As Jumaadi drew this work, some portraits of family members – his mother or brother – began to emerge while simultaneously retaining their metaphorical or universal character.
Jumaadi carries materials wherever he travels. These drawings were made over five years and completed during an artist’s residency at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, South Carolina, in 2014. He carried some of the drawings for up to four years before the residency in Charleston gave him the time and space to complete them.
chinagraph, pencil on mulberry paper
58 sheets, each sheet approximately 50.0 x 76.0 cm dimensions variable
Mollie and Jim Gowing Bequest Fund 2017
Not on display
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 1 publication
Anne Ryan, Close to home: Dobell Australian drawing biennial 2016, "Jumaadi", pg. 24-29, Sydney, 2016, 8, 13-15, 22 (illus.)-24, 25 (illus.), 26-27 (illus.), 28-29 (illus.), 66-67, 76.