“In Hull, there is space in the cracks for art,” say Jayne Jones. “Here, people can show their initiative and create something.”
A visible influence on the city’s art scene, Jayne takes a two-pronged approach to her work. Personal practice and the politics of developing art provision from the ground up are of equal importance, says Jayne, a Theoretical Studies lecturer at Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD).
“If you come up with an idea, there is support,” she says. “You can get things done as an artist here.”
Extolling the benefits of artist-led initiatives at grass-roots level, Jayne was a founder member of Hull’s not-for-profit Red Gallery, with her MA exhibition opening the gallery. She is now heavily involved with the development of Kingston Art Group, a self-funded artistic community, and is also exploring the ways that lobbying organisations such as the National Federation of Artists’ Studio Providers can use studio networks as a means of unionisation for artists. She was also director of Flatpack Studio, an Arts Council and Hull Forward funded scheme looking to create purpose-built artists’ studios in Hull.
This forms Jayne’s major research interest.
“I am interested in studio development as a political issue and am involved in local negotiations with council planning departments to get artists’ studios built,” she says. “Through my research, I see lots of studios that have a real split between agendas and artists. With Kingston Art Group, for example, we have kept a very simple business model and we are self-supporting. I think we get there more sustainably.”
Since Jayne’s involvement with Kingston Art Group, the collective has grown and is now housed in two sites – an industrial studio in Wincolmlee and a studio in Hull’s vibrant arts quarter in the Fruit Market area of the city centre.
This focused, yet organic, approach is also evident in Jayne’s most recent exhibited works.
A hypnotic series of paintings that uses a mixture of industrial paints, oil pigments and resins to explore the seductive, sensual nature of paint, were shown in London, Manchester, Liverpool and New York.
“These paintings are a sensual exploration of paint as a material,” she says. “I pour the mixture onto a horizontal canvas, then tilt it to allow the paint to move in a viscous flow across the surface.”
As it dries, gravity, time and chemical processes altar the look of the material. The chemical paint mixture she uses was devised by Jayne following a research trip to meet the chemists at Hammerite’s industrial paint factory.
“Each element reacts to the others, as chemical processes cause them to repel, resulting in complex, unexpected surfaces,” says Jayne. “It is the unpredictable nature of this process that fascinates me, as I balance my own intentions with the action of the paint itself. When I return to the painting, the changes which have occurred provide the visual cue which prompts the next pour. It is a dynamic relationship.”
The results seem to replicate natural phenomena – fractals, cell structures, body shapes, glacial layers, or rock strata.
“Because I was exploring the seductive use of paint, I began to develop seductive paintings,” she says. “That was never my intention but it was part of the process of negotiating my influence on the paintings.”
Jayne’s work appeals to art-lovers on many levels – one of her paintings even hangs on an Atomic Kitten’s wall – but, as a full-time artist, she eventually felt the need to escape the commercial side of the art world.
As a result, she began teaching at HSAD in 2006, using her experiences of the realities of working as a full-time artist to inspire students and complement her teaching.
She has a BA (Hons) in Visual Studies from the University of Lincoln; and a practice-based MA in Art, Design and Critical Theory from HSAD. She continues to develop her own practice and is currently researching drawing and watercolour work. She also conducts freelance arts development work, partly inspired by a former career as an occupational therapist.
Visit Jayne’s website: http://www.jaynejonesart.co.uk/.