CORRESPONDENCE 01 - JACK ANTHONY TAYLOR & TOBIAS FRANCIS
JACK ANTHONY TAYLOR
Exeter - Big Lungs for such small beasts (2021) Photos, oil, acrylic, chalk paint wood glue and varnish on ply
Letchworth - From Under the worm moon (2021) photo, oil, wood glue, wood stain and varnish on folding ply frame
‘From Under the worm moon’ Is an object: a hinged frame with an image set on top; the photograph embellished with paint, deleting bits of the image and making new images on top in a layering process. Taking an experience or some happening: a sound or something that I witnessed or imagined happened; and then playing with those experiences and making characters and myths from them; performing and posing with masks I then photograph. The images I then paint over or embellish. With this process in place I then thought of how to make an object that was bigger than A4 but could fit in an A4 jiffy envelope. I wanted to make an object, something that was tactile and handleable and able to fold and interact with.
The work I have made for correspondence 01 is directly motivated by the subjects I have been developing over the last year and a half. The image is a form of documentation but a mythologization of an experience. Over the lockdown I started to note down encounters and experiences and in the process poeticising them and naturally they become figures or characters.
‘Big lungs for such small beasts.’ Is an object: a lacquered box with a hinged door; which inside, has two photographs; these photographs and the box have been embellished with paint, mainly images of flora on the backdrop of the printed images and patterns on the box. The work I view as a book isn’t dissimilar to a reliquary in form. Taking an experience or some happening: a sound or something that I witnessed or imagined happened; and then playing with those experiences and making characters and myths from them; performing and posing with masks I then photograph. The images I then paint over or embellish. With this process in place, I then thought of how to make an object that was bigger than A4 but could fit in an A4 jiffy envelope. I wanted to make an object, something that was tactile and handleable.
The work I have made for correspondence 01 is directly motivated by the work I have been developing over the last year and a half. The image inside is of a deer. One night in March, there was a small gathering in some woods, in the trees barking deer could be heard wailing or howling, probably mating. This image of a howling deer was a really powerful picture in my mind. For me what came with it was something quite strange and yet familiar. So I wanted to associate it with a character that is half human, half beast and it could almost be in one of the many fashion magazines I have scattered about my studio or a creature from a Greek myth. the work is a documentation as much as a strange image that seems far from reality.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist working in Photography, painting and object making. I try to make work that is performative and playful. I’m often influenced by my surroundings as there’s something important to me about applying my own identity and idea of belonging from where I call home. There’s a great deal of mystery to be explored in the day-to-day surroundings we live in and that’s what drives my practice by manipulating the mystery into my own image. It comes from a place of wanting to understand my experiences and visualise and document them.
When making, I try to tap into a childishness and make my work so it’s visually handmade, organic in form, colourful in its imagery of strange characters and objects drawn from the environment around me and things I experience going onto mythologise them. In a way I’m taking experiences or some reflection on the world I’ve had and visualising them through these characters and effigies or through writing and playing in the hope I can inject mystery into what I do and leave the work open and ambiguous.
My experiences working on film and theatre prop, costume and set design has directed my approach to making art, often I make props, masks and other objects to interact with, mostly from card and paper. I want to be tactile with these objects, documenting and then painting onto the images I take going on to embellish these images with paint or things that make marks and patterns.
Correspondence has presented an opportunity to me, not only to develop a body of work but also to be put in “correspondence” with another artist. I was paired with Tobias Francis, who makes these interesting assemblage works that make use of combining image, text and physical objects. These qualities are mirrored in my work as well as our use of symbolism - so I was very excited to have a dialogue with Tobias, especially coming from a year and a half of not meeting many new people in the same field. Recognising early on that something really interesting could happen between our individual and distinct styles, we proposed to give ourselves a simple objective: that being; we make works that are bigger/ expand from the confines of the A4 Jiffy envelope (this is what we had to send our work in); And to give us an opportunity to develop our individual practice, and these I think put us in line to play and build on the groundwork of our practice. Both our work in the end shared a surprising similarity, both being objects more than images, while also being distinct from one another and in this way talk and communicate in their own manner. I look forward to doing more stuff in the future with Tobias, especially in this time of new found freedom following lockdown. It also turned out we have a mutual friend I work with, so a small world heh!
Exeter - In One Ear Out the Other, (2021) mixed media- oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, earbuds, wood, foamboard, paper, grommets, t-nuts, screws
Letchworth - In and Out of Tunnels, (2021) mixed media- acrylic, watercolour, pencil, graphite, ink, wood, foamboard, paper, t-nuts, bolts, screws, nails, rope, hardback book cover, metal screw cap
My work relates the physical nature of walls to painterly concerns of representing flatness, perspective, and permanence, influenced by colour field paintings. Oil paintings and assemblage works, aim to convey a sense of suspense, depicting moments before something climatic; akin to “there (being) no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,” as Hitchcock says. Performative notions of the fourth wall relate to the treatment of the illusory picture plane: paintings push a stage set aesthetic where the edges of each painting – like what happens behind walls- contain an anticipated form of action.
Dialogue and in what forms it takes informs my work In One Ear Out the Other. Lettering, collaged drawn material and a paper background serve to reference a written correspondence. The visual elements from earbuds poking in and out of space, to a shot arrow and then to wooden sidepieces striped in contrasting black and white (shaped so that both can interlock with one another) look to encompass notions of a reciprocity when in dialogue; in having to listen/read and then respond to someone/something in a back-and-forth manner. Yet, the monochromatic black and white colour scheme and striped wooden side pieces on closer inspection are not as binary as they present: the whites shade towards yellow, reminding of how what’s said, read or seen between individuals may be more nuanced or guarded than made manifest.
Journeying on trains informs my work In and Out of Tunnels. With this work, I wanted to relate the reciprocity of dialogue and correspondence, to ideas of a back and forth in a more tangible sense, immediately thinking about travelling in and out of tunnels on a train. Contextually, this felt apt for this work has journeyed to be shown in Letchworth and through researching and realising that Broadway gallery is situated right by a train station. Using a monochromatic framework of colour – black, yellow/white, and bare wood- alludes to the fragmentary moments of light and dark when journeying on a train through tunnels. There’s also an emphasis on line, heightened through 3D string elements, relating to trace and time associated with any form of journeying. Screws, nails, bolts, and T-nuts fix every visual element in place contextualising a mechanised, constructed feel to the work and the train subject matter.
I was paired with Jack Anthony Taylor for this project and we shared similar ideas from the start with what direction to take when developing our own work. We settled on the basic premise of wanting to bend the A4 size requirements, wanting to push 3D elements in our correspondence work and leaving individual autonomy to the subject matter explored. Having someone equally enthused about such ideas was motivating for me to trial and test a lot of new things at first; from digital mock-ups to colour studies with some succeeding more than others. This project in collaboration with Jack resulted in me re-connecting with more sculptural artists like Tom Sachs, Eva Hesse and Karl Schwitters who all ultimately proved important in informing the final works I made. Jack and I weirdly have a mutual friend (small world!) and scope for future collaboration with our own peers in some form of an Exhibition have been discussed (having both recently graduated from Art school), so hopefully there’s more to come from the both of us working together.