In the third Meet The Maker I had the chance to put forward some questions to Jade who is also a colleague who will be exhibiting in London with myself and Sayra Begum this month.
Can you give me a brief outline of your creative practice?
I mix and pour coloured resin (usually epoxy) to create layered paintings often on circular boards. I do consider myself a painter but also the process of creating my works is semi-sculptural as I work in layers with the resin. Casting resin in moulds and working with ink on paper are also part of my working practice so I guess a combination of all of those things really.
What was your pathway to this; hobby, a workshop, education, something else inspiring?
I have always been creative since I can remember so art was always one of my favourite subjects in school and college. When I left college, I went on to do a foundation in Art and Design which I really enjoyed, and it really confirmed my decision to study Fine Art at Falmouth University. I graduated in 2017 and since then have worked at Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth museum alongside my artistic practice. Being around amazing art daily and being able to research new artists all the time has definitely had a positive influence on my practice.
Is there a story or a theme behind the brand/maker?
My Dad is also an artist, so he and my Mum have always been very supportive and encouraging of my creativity. I was born in Cornwall and I have lived here all my life so naturally the sea and the landscape have always been a big inspiration. I think whilst I was at University, I combined this interest in the Cornish coastline with research into global warming. Particularly focusing on the worlds water systems and the changes they are undergoing as a result of dramatic climate change.
Can you tell me more about your process from idea to finished piece and do you work from home, outside or a studio?
My initial inspiration is usually walking in the landscape or along coastal paths - I take a lot of photos and videos– especially of the sea and the Cornish coastline. When making a new work I often refer to these for inspiration and ideas.
When I’m working with resin I usually work from my studio at home – I use various pigments which I mix with the resin. As the resin begins to cure as soon as Part A and B are mixed together I only have a limited time to work with it. I use a butane blowtorch to heat the resin as I tilt which helps me to manipulate the resin on the board – the heat also pops any air bubbles. Once I am happy with the first layer, I leave it to cure for about 24hrs before starting on the next one. Some of the layers (usually the background ones) are opaque colour and then some (usually the top or final layers) are mostly transparent with a few finer details. I find this layering process helps me achieve the depth in my work.
Recently I have developed a series of small cast resin works called ‘Wave Studies’. This involves pouring resin into a round silicone mould and again using a blowtorch to pop any air bubbles. I then work into the wet resin with inks and pigments before leaving them to cure. I sometimes use this process as a way of trying out different colour combinations before starting on a larger piece too.
What advice would you give to someone interested in working in this discipline/industry?
Always keep making, as often as you can. Even if it’s just a quick drawing here and there or experimenting with something new - I find this usually leads to bigger and more exciting things. Also visit lots of exhibitions! I try to visit as many as I can, locally, in London and internationally (whenever I go abroad). I always find that seeing and discovering new artists and processes in galleries tends to naturally spark new ideas or helps me to develop existing ones. With resin – A LOT of practice!! I have developed lots of different techniques over the last few years, mainly by trial and error. If something goes wrong don’t give up - give it another go.
Are there any artists/makers you admire, what is your inspiration?
I find Bernhard Edmaier’s work incredibly inspiring. He is a photographer who ‘combines his training as a geologist with an exquisite talent for capturing dreamy, seemingly abstract images of earth from above.’ He also highlights the effects of climate change on the environment in his work – which is really important.
Since staring work at Tate St Ives, I have done lots of research into many of the St Ives modernists and I have found that Bryan Wynter’s work very inspiring. Learning more about how he captured the beautiful movement of water in his paintings in various ways is incredibly interesting.
Olafur Eliasson is another artist I really admire – especially his works that draw attention to the important topic of climate change. His ‘Ice Watch’ works were particularly inspiring for me and along with other inspirations led me to make a series of ‘Readymade’ Ice works myself a few years ago. I am really looking forward to seeing his big retrospective at Tate Modern in a few weeks.
Do you have any upcoming plans/events/new lines/exhibition/workshop?
Currently I have a piece of work on show in the Penwith Gallery in St Ives as part of their summer exhibition.
The next exhibition I’m taking part in will be the ‘Movement’ exhibition at Tate exchange at Tate Modern in London 27 Aug – 4 September. Following that – ‘Environments’ at Tate St Ives 24-29 September.
I have been experimenting with a new colour palette with my resin works – inspired by rocks and minerals rather than the sea so I will be working more with more earthy tones and pigments alongside the bright blues and turquoises I usually use. It’s a little scary but really refreshing to try something a bit different and I’m looking forward to making more works with these colours.