Heidi Jung New Works exhibit at Ironton now through February 20th: / by David Menard

Someone must have told Heidi Jung that her plant drawings were 'pretty', 'delicate', 'sensitive', maybe even 'feminine', and she may have responded with "Not anymore."

This new series, showing at Ironton, combines those previous botanical subjects, drawn with the aforementioned qualities, adding a strong, decisive willingness to experiment, and letting the media do what it will. The same plant subjects now become arenas of struggle, psychological crises, and battles of light and dark. ' Delicate' and 'sensitive' are still there but hovering over an abyss of darkness that we may recognize as our own subconscious fears.

Jung's draftsmanship is extraordinary, the natural line of a plant's movement is just right. But much more, she is using massive areas of black, a color we do not often associate with living plants, to create a maelstom of surging emotions. We cannot separate the plants from ourselves and our emotional involvement. The blackest ink washes, under layers of encaustic, speak of intensities in nature, and our own psyches. It is as if the artist is saying, "You think you know my work? There's a lot more than you realize..." 

Whoever thought a botanical subject could be 'explosive', 'convulsive' or 'heart-breaking'?
Yet, these paintings are. 

Peter Illig


                                                                            From Left, Paige Sanford, Heidi Jung, Kristina Sterling

Opening Night "the drawers"  From left, Bill Amundson, Heidi Jung, William Stockman