1. Fringe Dwellers, 2015, Ink, watercolour, leaf, silk, 32 x 46 cm image, 52 x 65 cm inc. frame, Collection of Phil Evans.
2. Estuary, 2016, Ink, watercolour pencil, cotton, 32 x 46 cm image, 52 x 65 cm inc. frame, Collection of Dr Jane Greacen.
Josephine Jakobi is an artist whose practice is centred on ecology and life cycles. She is based in far Bungalook, at the edge of the Colquhoun forest near Lakes Entrance. Jakobi has a deep connection to the place, with generations of the family having lived in the area since the 1890s. Her work is an immersive process – immersing herself in the landscape and the material exploration of the work.
Jakobi has a multidisciplinary practice, often taking a mixed media approach to her work, which crosses between scientific observation and art. Elements and traces of the landscape appear in her work, creating synchronicity between material and the environment. The Lake Tyers estuary is a constant in her art, capturing details of the flora and life forms that occupy the environment. Her works like Estuary are multi-layered, combining ink, detailed line drawing, printing and stitching. Each part is carefully intertwined, mapping out the complexity of the ecosystem. The artist’s use of stitching not only echoes and adds depth to the pattern in her practice, but the domesticity of the material references her care for the environment.
Like Estuary, the work Fringe Dwellers contains expressive and direct records of the estuarine ecology and the intrinsic cycles of life and death. A stray leaf, dried and decaying, has been delicately sewn into the work with silk. The straight lines drawn out of the leaf with the thread make connections to other forms in the artwork, spilling out, expanding and rooted in one another.
Jakobi has completed formal training through a Bachelor degree specialising in sculpture and a Masters of Visual Arts in 2010 from Monash University. In addition, she has undertaken several residencies and community-facing projects, including a residency at FLOAT, Lake Tyers in 2017 and exhibiting a solo show at East Gippsland Art Gallery and Gippsland Art Gallery in the same year.