Our talented curatorial intern, Robin Clason, sat down with Drake Lab Artist in Residence, Jeremy Jansen for a Q+A and to snap some pics of his transformation of our space.
Jeremy Jansen's two week residency at the Drake lab was one of our favourite projects yet. His love for things charred, burned, pricked and hung created an orchestrated environment of delicate decay. Working with multiple media, Jeremy's talents exude a quiet spirituality - he created an ethereal space within the Drake that engaged all sorts of curiosities. I sat down for a beer with him and discussed all things art, Drake and a little mafia too.
Robin Clason: Your work is pretty rad! The incense piece "Burn" you created in the Lab was super beautiful- have you ever done that before? Burning incense in the wall?
Jeremy Jansen: Thanks, and yes. Amongst other things, I burn incense in my studio all the time. I fill the holes in the wall with the sticks and let them burn down to where they char and mark up the walls. It looks beautiful and I wanted to play with that and I had this found chain which I hung in various places around the studio. Sometimes I would hang incense through the links- I held onto that idea and took advantage of having a bigger space to really start setting things on fire.
RC: I saw that body of work as a sort of created identity- you re-purpose tapestries, incense and work creating perforated holes. There is a thread tied between all of your pieces, an almost modern tradition you've invented. It's as if you've taken the vessels of tradition, and overlaid a personal grunge style to them- a modern throwback of cultural traditions but through punk, kinda DIY aesthetic.
JJ: Totally, I guess I look at it as a timeline- I'm documenting these experiences. I try to be honest with the work and where it comes from. I'm affected by what surrounds me- so why wouldn't I want mess with them? I'm comfortable with them, I live with them.
RC: Your work has a real delicateness to it- but you've achieved that through a pretty hardcore aesthetic of black and white, punk look. It's great because you aren't creating something that is delicate per say- you're not dictating how people read the piece. You achieve this through a more rough approach.
JJ: That's something that ends up happening a lot with in the work- it's very visceral. To me it makes total sense to be aggressive to make beautiful things- battering up materials to a point where they want to breakdown or fail... and when they don't, or do, its a turn on.