Discussion with art writer Jen Thatcher, after the screening of the three films at The Quarterhouse, Folkestone 2019
The three artists have in common a practice with paint and ink that enables the medium to find its voice. What has brought them together is a shared interest in experimental processes to make synergic, truly collaborative work where each artist takes equal responsibility and results in work that could only have been achieved with the input of all three. The 3 films build on a collaborative approach begun in 2015 in which the artists worked together to create a large scale work on paper that incorporated the elements of wind and rain and would not have been possible without all three artists working together.
The 3 films expand the individual practices of the artists, bringing together experimental film, expanded cinema, painting, performance, drawing, sound, digital and material practice. The result is moving image born out of experimental processes, collaboratively edited to reflect concerns about climate change, coastal erosion, migration and movement of people, geological and human time and anything else the 3 turn their minds to in conversation and image.
Joanna Jones’s work is existential, it is not ‘about’ something it is itself created by an action and that action is mediated from and with her body/being. Her practice over several decades has linked painting with performance. She has developed a performative process that positions the body as an agency of a particular kind of knowing, producing paintings which inform rather than express, present rather than represent and activate rather than portray, taking painting into the territory of an event – a constitution of elements capable of making something happen. She has maintained a similar approach with Dover Arts Development (DAD) an evolving work, inspired by the town of Dover and co founded with Clare Smith, that produces and co-creates projects of artistic excellence within the visual arts, poetry and music.
Helen Lindon has been concerned with ecology and the environment since the 70’s. Her present practice is making works on paper and films about Climate Change and Sea Level Rise, and investigating ideas of micro/macro. Her images could be of a larger universe or looking through a microscope - patterns and images are replicated in both. Natural materials - sea, rain water and carbon are used to make large scale drawings using tiny marks. These take hundreds of hours and become for the artist and viewer a contemplation on climate change. While developing her art practice, she worked as an Associate Lecturer at Byam Shaw, Central Saint Martins and London College of Communication (all University of the Arts, London) and is presently developing new collaborations - making films and live improvisations and performances with artists, choreographers and musicians.
Clare Smith's mixed English/Chinese heritage informs her perspective on issues of identity and categorisation. Her nomadic childhood and early adulthood have meant a somewhat ambivalent relationship to place, reinforced by the sense of ambiguity that comes from her mixed identity. Smith works with drawing, print media, collage and moving image to investigate this ambivalence and what it feels like to actually be in a place, with references to craft, the importance of labour and the handmade. Through her choice of materials and approaches, she creates work which attempts to create a sense of unity, an interpretation of Homi Bhabha's "Third Space" - seen as a space in which different parts can come together to challenge dominant ideas of wholeness. She is co-founder of Dover Arts Development (DAD) together with Joanna Jones.