Winsome Jobling is a Darwin based artist working primarily with handmade paper and experimental printmaking as well as sculpture and drawing. Winsome began experimenting with papermaking in her final year of art college in Sydney in 1981.
In 1983 she was posted as a teacher to the Belyuen Community on Darwin’s Cox Peninsula where the local Aboriginal women introduced her to traditional basket-making techniques and the use of fibre plants and bush dyes. These experiences were reflected in her first papermaking projects and signalled a life-long engagement with local plants. Today, both ‘indigenous and early colonial knowledge’ remain sources for her ongoing experimentation with plant fibre, pigmentation and dyes. Winsome uses local plants such as Spear Grass, Banyan Fig and the declared weed Gamba Grass. Her work is a haptic collaboration with the natural world and a response to our impact on it. Her recent works explore the impacts of bushfires and climate change on the Top End Savannah.
Winsome is a member of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA), a leading organisation founded in Germany in 1986. Winsome’s practice encompasses historical, botanical, seasonal and climatic research, sourcing and harvesting fibre plants in the field, testing traditional bush dyes and identifying the specific properties of various species of plants for their creative potential. To date she has experimented with more than 70 local plant varieties, both native and exotic. Her work encompasses 2D relief works and 3D installations or sculptures.
In 2008 Winsome was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study paper making in the USA and maintains links with international practitioners through conferences, residencies and exhibitions.
Winsome has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1990, participating in residencies, workshops and paper making symposia throughout Australia, in West Timor, the Philippines, UK and the USA. She participated in ‘Replant’ in 2006 – a significant cross-cultural project and related exhibition exploring the scientific, cultural and social aspects of Indigenous plant species in the Daly River region; the 2012 IAPMA Watermarks Conference in Ohio; held exhibitions in 2016 at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory; and in 2019 at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio. She has held solo exhibitions annually in Darwin since 2011, and 2021 commenced exhibiting at Australian Galleries in Melbourne. Her work is in collections at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory; the National Gallery of Australia, and Charles Darwin University.