Landscape but with a twist of the surreal – Jacqueline Balassa

Jacqueline Balassa is a Sydney based painter and printmaker who is inspired by landscape. She experiments in the mediums of graphite pencil drawing, oil painting, gouache painting and etching. Her Chinese inspired oil painting, Pine tree -Yellow Mountain, was awarded Highly Commended in the 2019 Georges River Art Prize.

“Pine tree – Yellow Mountain is from a body of my most recent work; a result of having resided at Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) in China and my subsequent study of traditional Chinese mountain painting. This experience has expanded and enriched my artistic language. I have a very personal melding of Chinese and European painting traditions resulting in a unique and fresh interpretation of this iconic landscape” [1]

Balassa - Jacqueline - Pine tree - yellow mountain - 58 x 41cm

Pine tree – Yellow Mountain, oil on board.                 

Jacqueline has a Bachelor of Fine Art (painting), a Master of Art (painting) and a Master of Fine Art all from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia. In addition she studied at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze and privately with Christian Snyders, both in Florence.

Jacqueline’s drawings, paintings and etchings are records of her visual and emotional responses to spending time in, and observing closely, both Australian and international landscapes. Of particular interest are wilderness areas, the Sydney Harbour foreshore and her urban native garden. She begins with detailed pencil drawings and notes about colour and light completed on site, then uses these to build up the paintings and etchings in her studio.

She has an enduring love of the calm beauty and “magical” quality of early Renaissance Italian painting by artists such as Giotto and Duccio. To her these paintings seem delicately balanced between the real world of observation and the inner world of the imagination, and she aims to achieve this feeling in her own work. The way light is depicted in these paintings, the sense of form, the use of patterning, and colour and the flattened pictorial space are some of the elements that inform Jacqueline’s contemporary practice.

Her melding of an ancient European tradition and her close observation of the environment results in a unique visual language that expresses her interpretation of place. Jacqueline’s paintings and etchings reflect the colours, light, forms and patterns of the changing seasons and times of day.

Jacqueline is represented by Art Atrium Gallery in Sydney. She has also exhibited in Sydney at Robin Gibson Gallery, in Hong Kong and in Canberra with Solander Gallery as well as guesting at a number of other galleries, including NG Art and Delmar Gallery, both in Sydney. Her work is in the collections of the Alumni Association UNSW College of Fine Arts, National Westminster Bank Sydney and Crown Casino, Melbourne, as well as in numerous private collections.

The Georges River Art Prize 2019 will be on display until the end of January 2020.

Georges River Art Prize Open Day

Join us for a fun day for the whole family. Experience guided tours, art and craft activities and view the Georges River Art Prize 2019.

Saturday 11 January, 2020

Drop in for art and craft activities and exhibit your artwork with prizes to be won!
11.00am – 2.00pm

Guided tours (15 minutes)
Georges River Art Prize 2019

Free event, all welcome!

For more information:

Georges River Art Prize 2019

25 October 2019 – 30 January 2020

Hurstville Museum & Gallery

14 MacMahon Street, Hurstville


Jacqueline Balassa Artist Contemporary landscapes

Art Atrium

[1] Jacqueline Balassa, artist’s statement, Georges River Art Prize 2019.

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