AS PART OF THE EM18 GRADUATE PROJECT, WHERE RECENT GRADUATES ARE OFFERED A RESIDENCY IN OUR PROJECT SPACE FOR THE MONTH, WE’RE INTERVIEWING THE ARTISTS ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND THEIR VIEWS ON ART AS A WHOLE. OUR FINAL INTERVIEW IS WITH JENNY BRAMLEY.
For those who don’t know who you are, can you tell us a little about yourself, and your practice as an artist?
I graduated from the University of Derby earlier this year and I am now currently undertaking an MA in Fine Art at Derby. My most recent works have included large-scale simultaneous drawings. These were figurative and focused on the process of exploring the potential of materials, doing, and mark-making with both traditional and non-traditional media.
Having come out of university, have you noticed any differences between working as a student artist, and creating your work for a wider, public market?
Working as a student artist there is always an underlying knowledge that work created is to be assessed and needs to be critically underpinned. This has given me a good grounding for creating work for a wider market. I still document my work, carry out a period of ongoing research, visit exhibitions and artist talks; these help me to focus on the current project in hand. I think otherwise I may get a little lost.
The biggest difference is one of independence and ensuring that I create new contacts and a support network to keep up to date with all things contemporary.
When did you first involve yourself with the art scene? Was this due to your educational experiences, or were you inspired from other parts of your life?
I only got involved with the art scene about five years ago as a mature student. In my previous life (!) I worked as a Chartered Accountant. I was inspired to change course in my career following a couple of redundancies. Suddenly I had a chance to do something else which was extremely liberating and creative! I started with a Foundation course in Mansfield which I absolutely loved. Following the Foundation course I was thrilled to be accepted onto the BA (Hons) Fine Art at Derby and subsequently the MA Fine Art programme and this residency.
I have had the opportunity to visit exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally which has really helped me to immerse myself in the world of Contemporary Art.
During this residency, what are your plans? How are you using this time at Surface?
As I write this I am coming to the end of the residency. My plans for the residency were to use the body of work created for my Degree exhibition as a starting point.
However, as the residency has progressed I have realised, and most importantly acknowledged, that my interest lies in the process of doing, doing processes, working with materials and playing and exploring; I decided that any processes were not undertaken in order to produce a finished outcome as such.
I feel I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone. And that hasn’t been easy. I have had to be a bit braver and take a leap of faith. I even confess that there have been few tears along the way! I am still finding my way and I believe that the artwork displayed in the Graduate Residency Exhibition will have shown my development over the past few weeks.
Where else have you exhibited, and other than the EM18 Show on 2nd November, do you have any future exhibitions?
Recently I have exhibited at U+1F3A8 and Smoke and Mirrors in Derby, Busk Off and Summer Open in Nottingham. Further afield I exhibited in Transpired, Walker Art Gallery and Nasty Women Exhibition in Liverpool and SURPRISE 8 in Athens.
Next year I will be part of a group exhibition for the MA Degree show at Derby. I will continue to look for exhibition and art residency opportunities.
As a final question I’ve asked everyone I’ve interviewed, what do you think is the future of the arts? And if you had infinite resources, what kind of work would you make in that future?
I would like to see a reversal of the downplaying of the importance of the Arts in mainstream education. Allow children and young people the opportunity to explore their creative sides.
We as artists can help with the continuation of such good works of including the local community in the arts – it is not elite, and it should be for everyone.
Infinite resources well there is the Jackpot question. Perhaps setting up a shared studio space and a gallery would be a great start. With staff and assistants to carry out my every whim! Creating a rolling calendar of events, exhibitions, workshops, networking events…..
Thank you very much Jenny! You can see their work, and all of the others during the EM18 residency, at the opening PENUMBRA!