An Ode to Daylesford is an unusual name for an exhibition of paintings, but artist Jodie ferguson-Batte has found her new life in Daylesford has been so fulfilling that she wanted to honour the town through her paintings. This is Jodie’s first exhibition in many years and one has to ask “why did we wait so long”. her works are whimsical, expressive and even evocative and so taken are we at Secrets of Jodie’s work, that we chose one of her latest paintings for our cover for this issue.
Jodie and husband John moved into their old Victorian cottage in the middle of a Daylesford winter, which was almost a deal-breaker for John who had moved from England to get away from the cold weather. After surviving that first winter, Jodie and John headed to the UK and Spain and while they had every intention of transforming their home into a charming English-style cottage on their return, their trip to Spain left a lasting impression on them, and in the following year, their home transformed into something of a Spanish-style villa; the perfect inspiration for Jodie to work on her whimsical paintings.
Their life in Daylesford differs greatly from their time living in Sydney. the harbour city was a world away from a Victorian country town, but Jodie says it has been a very positive move for them – she, John and two year old Jasper are now healthier and living life at a more civilized pace. Jodie also feels her artwork has settled into a more reflective and grounded style with an almost bucolic feel.
Her exhibition at Daylesford’s Made Gallery in August will consist of about 20 to 30 of her works – it’s a celebration of the people, characters, places and experiences of life in this little country town. Jodie will also be inviting other local Daylesford artists with a shared enthusiasm for the town to submit a piece under the same theme. All works will be for sale and Jodie also accepts commissions, especially portraits and often has one or two on the go at any one time.
The exhibition Ode to daylesford will be open through August on weekends at Made gallery, Camp Street, Daylesford.