An interview with Sal Jones – By Roshan Langley

Its been one hell of a week! The Sweet ‘Art team are go go go! in preparation for the new and upcoming event in London starting the 5th of March: Hand Maid!

As the new (and gorgeous) intern, and as a part of the Sweet ‘Art team! I would like to give you a sneak peak at some of the artists who you will be amazed, gob smacked and slightly confused by. We are delighted to have been able to interview artist Sal Jones, giving you glimpses into her subjects inner most thoughts, “The surface is seductive; washes, drips and textured mark-making with saturated colour add an energy and drama to the work. References to cinematography, film noir and photography, are apparent, close-up, directional lighting heavy shadows and cropping.” (Sal Jones Blog) 

1. Who would you say is an inspiration behind your art and how have they impacted it?

Well I don’t think that there is one particular person who is an inspiration or who has had that much impact – of course there are lots of artists whose work I like/admire/love but they are not necessarily painters I am drawn to visuals that appeal aesthetically and in the nature of the materials and how they are used. I am also influenced by other creative forms, film, music, writing/lyrics etc.ijustdidntwanthintoleave webready (2)

If you mean ‘who’ as in subjects – then it really can be anyone – it depends on whether I am selecting a subject for a specific idea, series or need a character. In some cases I have been inspired by a particular themed character and roles played. For instance in my ‘Leading ladies’ series, or the ‘Truth’ triptych.

Often I will use images that I have taken that are not meant to represent a specific person but more of a mood/story/emotional state and I don’t intend them to be ‘portraits’, such as in the ‘unreliability of perception’ series.

2. What do you think is different about your art?

Does art NEED to be different? That’s a toughie – I think all artists experiment and try things out – which is different for themselves but not necessarily for everyone else. You could also argue that every artwork in the nature of the creative process is ‘different’. I hope my art will communicate or resonate with the observer on some level and therefore that it is worth looking at and spending time with. I am not overly concerned with trying to be different, that’s just another distraction that can block progress – I just respond to images and objects, whatever happens to grab my attention and express what comes to me with the paint.

3. What is it you really want to say through your various works?

What I can’t say in words.

this-is-hopeless (from - leading ladies)Genuinely brilliant answer! Just what we at Sweet ‘Art like to hear.

4. How do you see your art developing over the next 10 years?

I hope to become a better and more confident artist – through practice and perseverance. The subjects and directions will be dictated with the process to a certain extent and what is affecting me or having an influence on me at the time.

On a practical level – I would like to work towards an exhibition that shows a whole series of connected works and also I would be interested in possibly collaborating on a project.

(hint hint!)

5. What would you say is the purpose of your art?

Goodness, I think the ‘purpose’ of all art is to make life more stimulating, for both the artist and the viewer; art is our culture and our civilisation – it defines us. I’m not sure if that is just a fact, a purpose or a reason?!

6. How do you practice as an artist using found images as a starting point?

Well that is usually in terms of a gut response either intuitively working from or with an object that already exists, therefore having it’s own history (which influences outcome) – or coming across an image that inspires me. In most cases, with recent work, I am taking a photograph and re-interpreting it as a painting. I usually always have a starting point of an image rather than totally inventing compositions, but I will use ‘artistic license’ and not copy exactly and I’m not interested in creating photorealist images. I use photographs as references for planning compositions often digitally manipulating or montaging to try out variations. That’s not to say that random accidents and experimentation does not have an influence too. I respond and react and re-interpret, I suppose, but I like to keep an energy to the work, with gestural marks; sometimes I overwork a piece and get tighter and I find the painting can lose something. I have to consider when to stop, and it’s not always easy.out-of-me (from -unrelaibility of perception)

7. Why do you use other images as inspiration?

We are bombarded with images everyday – you can’t escape their influence – whether TV/film or other media, they are there! We live in a virtual reality most of the time these days…

I am also interested in the idea of the reproduced image and in layers of fiction. I take an image (which is already a reproduction of reality) and interpret it in one way (and use dialogue for titles) and that is then read in a new way (not knowing the original source) by the viewer; this way stories develop – everyone transforming/distorting the image in some way.

8. The choice of colour in your paintings are breath taking, why did you choose this approach? Is there a deeper meaning to this?

(ironic you should ask this – as I’ll be showing some B&W at the next Sweetart show!!)

But yes colour in painting has always been something I find I am naturally drawn to, I enhance what I see – something I picked up on years ago when studying art – the freedom to interpret colour has stayed with me. I use colour to set mood and interpret light and shadow on surfaces and skin, I hope it adds to the emotion, expression and energy of the piece.  without-me-theyre-nothing.jpg


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