The home Jordyn Burnett shares with her partner Warwick feels like its own world of expressionism. The living room walls are draped with abstract artworks and the shelves are filled with books of famed artists: it feels exactly how the home of a creative duo should be. Into the back of the house to the bedrooms, this vibrancy continues, making the home feel like a celebration of the couple’s eccentricity.
Despite being a closely knit couple, both Jordyn and Warwick’s works stand firmly on their own. Warwick is a portrait photographer while Jordyn’s work dabbles with a variety of mediums, including illustrations done with a paintbrush but also digitally crafted. The pair have both recently had their works on display at the Sunshine Coast’s annual 40 Under 40 exhibition alongside many other local talents, a testament to why this artistic utopia they have created is worth talking about.
“I guess if anything, it would be his [Warwick’s] support, and healthy environment he’s helped us have as a couple,” Jordyn says. “In this little creative world, and his openness to all ideas and everything about all that does help keep my mind open.”
On a fluorescent backdrop, Jordyn’s pieces capture the many forms of the human body, often in a warped fashion. Her work frequently depicts the dynamics of day-to-day life with overexaggerated characteristics of the human form. When noticing this pattern, it can be understood how her work has been influenced by a surprising source, Austrian painter Egon Schiele.
Schiele is well renowned for his disfigured portraits of the human body, and while Jordyn shares his vision, she insists he is not someone she admires as a person. “I’m very drawn to his work, as much as he as a person isn’t someone I would ever get along with because he was a paedophile,” she says.
Although her artwork often celebrates the human body in general, Jordyn also uses her creativity to reflect on the darker sides of sexuality. Her recent prints often deal with the confronting phenomenon of “dick pics”, with Jordyn encouraging others to share their experiences, which she has incorporated into her pieces. “If you have any stories express them, because this is not okay.”
With her vibrant portfolio of work, the prominent theme of her work often involves womanhood. With her short, often-coloured and buzz cut hair and square glasses, her personal characteristics – like her artistic efforts – champion how femininity comes in so many different forms. Growing up in an all-girl household with three sisters, it’s clear why this is so prominent in her work.
“We had similar traits, but there were different ways we would cope with things and when it came to periods, we’d have our own different thing,” she says. “One would crawl up into a ball and into the dark, and the other would be feasting on cheese, and the other would get migraines.”
A close female figure also inspired her to create: her late grandmother who slowly lost her memory. “I was doing it for years, ever since I was a child but as soon as she passed away, it made me realise ‘f… it, I may as well actually pursue this’,” she says.
For Jordyn and many other creatives, art is a form of therapy. Many of her works are a self-portrait of who she is, a woman who deals with all of life’s problems, particularly the mental ones.
“A lot of my work is mainly on my own experiences, on my own mental health and all that stuff,” she says. “I think being so vulnerable and putting myself out there definitely helps my mental health because whether or not I get any responses or anything, it doesn’t matter because I feel like I’ve actually put it out on the table, and I just feel better about it.”
While Jordyn prepares to move into a new stage of her life with her first child on the way, she insists this won’t tone down the raw, unapologetic personality of her work in the future. However, her evolution could potentially be influential for coming projects.
“I wouldn’t want to theme my art around me just being a mother,” she says. “I think it would play a part however, as my body is changing.”