Part nine of an occasional series. Ahead of the opening of the Nothing is Square Pt.2 group show next Thursday evening (Thursday evening being February 27th and the place being Shipton Street Gallery, just off Columbia Road, East London) we invited painter, London-based figurative oil painter if we must put more of a label on things, Sal Jones to take her turn with those Thirteen sometimes light-hearted Questions from Organ. Sal Jones has been taking part in (our) Cultivate exhibitions for a number of years now, the way she uses paint excites us. Once again it really is about seeing a painter’s work in the flesh, I know we keep on saying it but it really is, you need to stand in front of those paintings of hers, really stand in front of them, not just glance as you walk past. We’ve always enjoyed Sal’s work, always been obvious that there’s a little more in there, an emotion, a commitment, I do like her commitment to the paint, but it wasn’t really until that solo show in that big space over in Hackney Wick that the curators at the nomadic Unit G gallery managed to take over for a short while, that solo show in late summer 2018 where Sal Jones was afforded proper space to really spread out and show her self, that solo show is where we really got it. Busy group shows are one thing, but that space where her bigger works had time to breathe, where her paintings had room to quietly hold your attention, where you really could appreciate her use of paint, the emotion of her work, that’s where Sal Jones really came alive as a painter, that’s where we really felt we wanted to know more… (sw)
And so we fired, via the magic of e.mail, those thirteen quesions….
1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m an artist – I make figurative oil paintings, about emotions, relationships and the way we interact, both with each other and with images. I use filmic references and colourful gestural mark making to comment on the human condition our experiences and contemporary life.
I also work freelance, as an art/design educator
2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY? WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?
At the studio, I’m here most days if not teaching, delivering/collecting work etc.
3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Recently I saw the paintings of Flora Yukhnovich – she’s only a young painter but her colours, the movement in her work and the huge scale of her paintings are quite phenomenal.
(in terms of what I’m doing – re-visiting the use of text in works, experimenting with methods, using hard edge alongside my usual loose, expressive mark making is quite exciting and creating new works for a specific audience is a different challenge)
4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?
I like creating something from nothing, re-interpreting what I see. I find it a way to communicate an idea or a feeling. It gives me a sense of fulfilment and release. (But it can also be extremely frustrating, particularly on the business side)
5: HOW DO YOU WORK?
I usually start with images I take photographs (collect images), manipulate/montage and use those as starting points for paintings, which then take on a life of their own through the process of mark making and colours. The process is intuitive and has to excite me and be open to change. I don’t want to just laboriously copy and fill-in
6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Work that makes me feel something, inspires me or makes me laugh
7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
And when people can relate to it…. I don’t make elitist artwork, I hope that the work speaks for itself really.
8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
Having to justify it and store it (not enough space), the compulsion to work figuratively and not abstractly. The fact that it doesn’t sit comfortably alongside other works…. I’m not sure where I fit in. Rejections….
9: WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
Goodness – not sure but it may well involve sun, sea, music and inspiring visuals.
10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
The ability to fly
12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?
Being able to physically move independently, Sight, Family …… (cheese, nuts, wine)…. I could go on….
13: WHAT IS IT ABOUT PORTRAITS ANYWAY? OR FILM NOIR?
Portraits: In this age of the ‘selfie’ where everyone is self-conscious and aware of the camera, I find the ‘acted/fictional’ emotion more genuine than the supposed real emotion; so my paintings are ‘portraits’ of emotions and acts of expression, rather than traditional portraits……More like a recognisable feeling rather than necessarily a recognisable person. If that makes sense? I am interested in the cross-over between the fictional and the real, in a society where the two have become ever-more confused.
Film Noir: the atmosphere appeals to me, what you can convey with light and shadow, angles.
And finally any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about?
I have paintings selected in each of the following, follow me on social media or check website for news and further details:
Ferens Open, Hull, 15 Feb – 26 April
Nothing is Square Pt.2, Cultivate at Shipton Street Gallery, London E2 – 27 Feb – 8 March
#Fakenews, Offshoot gallery, Finchley, London, 4-8 March
RBSA open, Birmingham, 5 March – 4 April
Second Edition, Emerge at Highgate contemporary, London, 2 April – 2 May