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Abstract Ground at the COX Gallery

Andrew Jaffray lives on a small farm in the Central Tablelands area of NSW. He uses the natural environment as source material for developing abstract works that represent landscapes near and far, real and imagined.

Artist, Andrew Jaffray

Iā€™m not interested in directly imitating the natural environment. What interests me is using the landscape as a source, as the beginning of a shape, a pattern, a building block. I take aspects of positive and negative shapes I see around me and use these to construct works that are largely abstract, yet retain some identifying elements.

Travelling west to the Western Plains of New South Wales, Andrew followed the Lachlan River as it flowed into Lake Cargelligo and beyond. His abstracted visions of the river and lake system beckon us to view the landscape from varying perspectives. Andrew also spent time painting en plein air on Mount Canobolas, a mountain formed by volcanic activity that sits above the regional city of Orange. He depicts the landscape as it exists, but also imagines its pre-historic formations.

For Andrew, maps provide fertile material for exploring landscape in other ways. Representations of topography, borders, population and climate interact with literal representations of what exists on the ground. In Balikpapan and Balikpapan Images, Andrew began with an old military map of the port city in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. He then overlayed the urban areas of the city as it is today using Google maps.


Andrew recently graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting) from the ANU School of Art and Design. He was awarded the ANU EASS COX Prize in 2020 for his graduating work.

Andrew’s exhibition ‘Abstract Ground’ will be shown at the COX Gallery in Canberra from March 26 – April 30.

Lisa DeSantis