The current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries is entitled FEELING GRAVITY’S PULL featuring works by J Valenzuela Didi.  Born in Malaysia he now lives in Brisbane , QLD.

Most of the works are rather large and unframed. Don’t forget to check out the street facing sides of the windows before you enter as some paintings included in the exhibition are displayed there.

According to Didi the exhibition explores ‘the fragmented moments of life’ ,’ the melancholy that accompanies the awareness of mortality’, and ‘The figures and objects that appear in these scenes is a reminder that we are all celestial bodies floating in space, bound by gravity’s pull.’

There is a great sense of isolation and mystery in the paintings, creating at times a rather tense and unsettling atmosphere. I was also reminded of the works of Geoffrey Smart with the use of precise geometric shapes, depiction of roadworks and street signs etc. ( eg Caverns of Tomorrow , Distributers Sisters . )

A common visual motif is the setting of the swimming pool and/or the inclusion of a Hills Hoist. ( eg The Hissing of Summer Lawns , with a Hoist and sprinklers whirling while a woman in a red dress is asleep in a deckchair and her male companion leans against the fence , Moonage Daydream and Study of the Summer Lawns ). If there are people in the picture, none of them look directly at the viewer – they are depicted in profile or with their head turned away.

It is as if the people inhabiting the pictures are trapped in an oppressive , enclosed , urban environment with the sharply defining lines of the backyard fence. (eg All Yesterday’s Parties , The Message ).

Getting Used to the Dust in Your Lungs is a scary comment on climate change and global warming – while the scene appears to be an ordinary day in the park with a child on a swing , there is a grey haze over the background cityscape and the girl in the blue dress is wearing a gas mask .

A most dynamic ,atmospheric and thought provoking exhibition .

FEELING GRAVITY’S PULL runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries [Facebook]  8-17 August.