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Art Edit: Interview with Matt Jukes

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Art Edit: Interview with Matt Jukes

Follow The Light II

How did you become a multi-talented artist and where did your passion for art culminate from?

This question is always tough to answer, in some ways it's straightforward, I've always been an artist, as I've made things for as long as I can remember. The decision to become a professional artist came from my discovery of printmaking and in particular mono-printing. Getting ink up to my elbows with this very tangible medium has helped me find a voice and develop my visual style.

Most of your artwork titles “parallel memories” or “visions from the past”. What particular memories from your past align with these titles?

My work has always been about exploring my fascination with how we remember moments in our lives, and how unreliable they are. We colour them over with fresh experiences every time we re-remember them. Each piece I do captures in some way an emotional representation of a moment in my life. I usually keep these moments a secret as they are my muse. My interest lies in how people viewing the work interpret it — the emotions they feel, how it resonates with them, and the memories and locations which arise in them, so that they can write their own stories into the piece.

A distinctive attribute in your works is blurred or clouded forms, could you tell us more about the meaning of this chosen visual outcome?

The soft blurry nature of the work reflects the soft nature of the memories, especially memories which are long forgotten. These clouded forms are triggered by the way in which light catches memories, illuminating them for a second and taking us back to those moments. There is also a parallel in-thing Tick of the light, not only in a cerebral impression but literally in when and how we experience the landscape around us. My process means that each layer is put down with a hard edge, and the process of layering this hard edge is dissolved, gently revealing it's true nature.

Across The Sands I

Your work often displays hills, peaks and mountaintops. Was this meant to speak to the onlooker’s emotional journey?

I try to leave space in my work to let the audience read the work as they would like. Some people have spoken to see mountains, landskien and horizon lines; others see soundwaves, musical scores and dance steps. The wonderful part of this, is the reading of the work takes the audience back to a time and place on their own emotional journey. This is exactly how I want people to connect with the work. One shared emotion, many places.

Could you tell us about your experience when photographing “Across the Sands”, “Beneath the big beautiful Sky” and “Midnight Sun” (Photography Editions)?

I have been fascinated with how we use memories in storytelling, and how the story changes each time the story is retold to pass on information. I took to reading the Greek myths. I was amazing at how much they are used to explain the geography of Greece and the surrounding areas but how they shaped so much of our language. This got me thinking about the landscapes around us, and how in the stories of Gaia, her body shaped the earth. With this thought the idea was born to use the may shape of the female form to recreate the landscape.

Midnight Sun I

How do you define “misremembered landscapes” and why is creating new pieces of such landscapes important to you as an artist?

"Mis-remembered landscapes'' are deliberate attempts for me to capture the emotion of a moment, and explore how that memory has changed, and how I have changed around that memory. It's important for me to return to these places as the nature of my work is autobiographical. Chronicling a version of my life, which probably didn't happen; but is no less valid because it is how I remember it, HENCE miss-remembered.

Each piece of your works channels romantic pink, red, blue and green hues. Is there a certain emotional response you wish the viewer to experience?

Colour is layered with so many meanings and associations, from the positivity of blue-sky thinking to the sadness of feeling blue, the passion of red, coupled with the danger warning red. Colours play with our emotions and are the perfect starting point to create work which has emotional meanings. Every colour tells a story which triggers memories in you. I try to use these colours to create a place of reflective peace, a quiet moment.

Which is your favourite piece and why?

My current favourite piece is "Follow the light II", it's the texture of the cool colours overlaying the warm colour which has stolen my heart. Texture is very important to my work, this piece was creative with the amount of layering I used to generate a rich hazy image. This print was one of the last prints I finished before lockdown. I was experimenting with a new technique of inking that allowed me to print layers with a “lighter touch.” 

Beneath The Big Beautiful Sky III

Being a large-scale printmaker and photographer, do you prefer one medium over the other? Why is it important for you to create various editions of your work?

I think at heart I am a printmaker, but I do love the different qualities I am able to achieve with photography and also with paintings. As I principally work in the medium of the monoprint, that means there can only ever be one. In doing the limited edition Giclee prints I can enable more people to enjoy the work I have been experimenting with editions of Cyanotypes and Polaroids. What I really like about these is that even though the image is the same - the individual process of creating each result in small variations, making each one a unique piece. This makes it feel very special indeed.

How do you see your art impacting the creative industry and viewers in the future?

I am primarily interested in people and their emotions, so I hope that my work offers the viewer a tangible manifestation of that feeling inside them! As my work develops I hope to further draw on this. I have some really exciting ideas that I have been working on recently, derived from the aim of making art that is even more personal to the viewer, a true and instant reflection of their emotions... So keep an eye out for this as the year progresses!

You can find more of his work on his website: www.mattjukes.ink and Instagram: @mattjukes