Julianne Ross Allcorn

I have judged art prizes for much of my professional life and having done so, view the outcome of judgmental collective decision making – with some knowing behind the curtain horse-trading scepticism. Stuff happens behinds the scenes at art prizes. For having said all that, I do however, never miss viewing the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. There are always less shenanigans within Landscape prizes.

So, there I was in 2020 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales viewing the Wynne Prize, when I should turn the corner and run smack into the practice of Julianne Ross Allcorn. There was a painting of wattle, banksia, grevillea, waratah, gumnuts, gum blossoms, seeds and leaves from different native plants, a Gymea lily, and the wildlife of our bush. There was in that painting, and to be found in the artist’s practice in general, a gentle narrative of fire, regeneration, and wonder.


In a contemporary manner, Allcorn’s paintings to my eye, channel an earlier world of a more detailed observation and the Australian bush. Her paintings make use of raw plywood to create a unique negative space on which to work. The artist sketch paints in layers, sometimes panoramic in scope- but always hyper observant. From top to bottom, left to right Allcorn’s paintings read as if you are standing within a grove of native trees. In the gum trees, you see through the brush and into canopy, to witness a densely packed and active world.

As a viewing member of the public, I applauded the judge’s choice. As an art dealer, I was delighted that the artist had then- not a full exhibition schedule dance card. She does now and I am delighted, that once again, that Julianne Ross Allcorn is holding her second solo exhibition at my Southern Highlands gallery.

Michael Reid OAM, 2023

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