Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Richard W. James
Richard W. James is from rural Tennessee and received his B.F.A. from The University of Tennessee at Martin in 2001. For 8 years he ran his own pottery studio until 2010-2012 when he attended Indiana University as a special student to pursue his interest in sculpture. Richard received his M.F.A. in ceramics from The University of Kansas in May 2016. He has been a 2015 summer artist-in-resident at Zhenrutang in Jingdezhen, China and a long-term 2016-17 resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. He is currently a long-term artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation.
Artist Kirk Jenkins; was born and raised in the surf side town of Cronulla, Australia; located in the south of Sydney. He was born to mixed European parents who traveled the world as gypsies. From a young age, Kirk was exposed to a rich melting pot of cultures; including a well-rounded selection of music, food, sports, art, and the outdoors. He took a keen interest in collecting, what some people would call junk, creating all kinds of sculptures and objects; intertwining the raw materials from around local streets.
Kirk was, and has always been, very much a hunter gatherer; He finds a peace, connectivness, and sense of meaning in the environment and outside world; a language, a freedom, and a raw beauty that cannot be matched or found in the man made world.
The materials that he works with; embody a richness, depth, history and aesthetic quality that could only be acquired from a long life of exposure and intense interaction with natures vast array of climates, processes and elements. Such as wood, tar, charcoal and metals; which all come directly or indirectly from the same place ( The Earth).
“I was born from the earth and shall one day return to the earth”. A spiritual cycle that Kirk is very aware and in awe of.
Having grown up in the harsh and often rugged terrains of Australia, infused with a deep affinity, compassion and kinship; with not only the indigenous people of his own country, but those too of his brothers and sisters from far away lands; such as: the native American and African people.
Together with a strong sense of composition, a keen eye for detail, texture, colour, balance and weight; thus driven by an instinct and hunger to explore; that could only be referred to as primal; make up the overall expression and creation of his art.
Kirk’s work have been exhibited in a number shows; In Cities such as Sydney, London, Los Angeles and Miami. The most notable to date being: The Nader, Latin American Art Museum - during Miami art Basel in 2015.
My paintings are visual manifestations of an internal journey made external. I begin a painting with a gestural under-drawing and color that resonates with me that day. As the painting evolves, a conversation begins to take place in which each choice informs the next. This discovery process of starting from one thing and evolving into another is exciting to me.
It is a dialogue that is spontaneous and intuitive, and a kind of self-reflection - like looking in the mirror - and a way of finding my own identity as a painter and a person. Through the use of color and gestural mark-making as a means to show energy and movement, my art seeks to inspire feeling, and at the same time is interesting and beautiful.
My art-making process is very meditative and a means of getting out of my own way and losing myself in a journey where the destination is unknown, yet eventually found. It is a practice of self-discipline, letting go of fear and judgment, and the willingness to step outside my comfort zone.