Jem Rose Mould

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

“…in the everyday, our handling of things tends to become habitual. When we become habituated we forget the wonder of it all. Our handlings become a means to an end. The privileged place of art arises from its capacity to create an opening, a space in which we are forced to reconsider the relations that occur in the process or tissue of making life. It is here that we can contest the instrumentalism of contemporary ways of being.”

Bolt, B. (2006) Materializing pedagogies. Working Papers in Art and Design 4

How does an artist make an artwork? Usually, it begins with something abstract – an idea or a feeling, which the artist then translates into something physical. It can be worked with for any amount of time, changing and shifting through different experiments, through different processes and material forms. When the work is completed, the artist decides how it will be exhibited, choosing what will be visible to the viewer. Often, the materials and processes that were used to generate the artwork are left out, ending up discarded or forgotten.

This year, I wanted to work with some of these forgotten things – masking tape, canvas keys, primer. These materials are essential in producing an artwork, yet they are not thought of as being valuable. In a piece of art, “that which is real…are the results of the brush strokes, the stickiness of the canvas, its grain, the polish spread over the colours” (Sartre, 1972:177). If something can be used to make beautiful work, why can’t it be considered beautiful in its own right?

I thought about how I could foreground the specific qualities of each of these materials, aiming to present them as organically as possible. I realized that I needed to use straightforward processes, most of which were both time and labour intensive, and I found that these became very meditative. Through making these works, my primary aim has been to try to explore the space between the process of making and the final piece of art. Here, I have found something beautiful.