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 SECOND INTERVIEW IS WITH JESS PRICE.
For those who don’t know who you are, can you tell us a little about yourself, and your practice as an artist?
My name is Jess Price and I am a recent graduate from the University of Derby. My practice focuses on looking at everyday life with a new perspective, hoping to re-evaluate views and actions that are now overlooked due to their normality. I usually show these concerns through the use of sculpture. Recently, I have also been including performance into my work.
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?
When I first left I was worried about losing the support network that university provides, but I have actually been overwhelmed with the Art community and the willingness of other artists to help and support you. In the case of producing work for a wider market, I have exhibited somewhere that was used more for craft, so my work wasn’t expected there, this generated a range of positive and negative responses. However, every response I get gives me the chance to learn different opinions and develop my practice.
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?
From a young age, I was always drawing and making, I knew it was always something I wanted to pursue. I was lucky enough to live in a city with an Art college, I went there after I finished secondary school and never looked back. I had a really supportive family and tutors which definitely helped push me towards perusing an artistic career, so I would say, it was mainly my educational experiences.
During this residency, what are your plans? How are you using this time at Surface?
As I said before, I have started to introduce performance into my practice; this is something I want to develop over my time at Surface. I am interested in looking at our relationship with social media and technology, that is going to be my main focus. I’m looking at this mainly through social media, engaging with my “friends” so I can get my research first hand.
Where else have you exhibited, and other than the EM18 Show on 2nd November, do you have any future exhibitions?
I have exhibited as part of the ‘re-imagine the city residency’ at Artcore in Derby, where I created a piece in reaction to homelessness in Derby. I was also part of the Wirksworth sculpture trail, where a showed an adaptation of the ‘re-imagine the city’ piece. I don’t have any future exhibitions at the moment.
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?
If you would have asked me this question a year ago, I would have been very sceptical of the future of arts. All news stories regarding art spoke of schools taking art off their curriculum as it was “unimportant”. Now, however, I feel more positively, people are realising the importance of arts and are now fighting to keep them in schools, I think that is really important, especially as for me, art classes were an important part of realising what I wanted to push myself to achieve.
Thank you very much Jess! You can see her work at the opening PENUMBRA, details coming soon to our social media and website!