Monday, 15 November 2010

Interview with Jane Boyer

I am pleased to interview Jane Boyer, our new associate member. Boyer joined the 'Core Gallery Collective' in October. Since then she has been involved in the development and sustainability of the gallery. In this interview I gain insight into her practice, I get a preview of the work she is exhibiting for the forthcoming show 'Relay' and find out how she supports the gallery as an associate member.

advance, 20" x 26" gesso, graphite, oil, acrylic binder on paper, © 2010
image courtesy of the artist

Boyer states in a recent blog: ''I am delighted to be a new member of Cor Blimey Arts. We're already busy at work and it is such a pleasure working with an energetic group of like-minded people.''
Boyer studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1986. Since then she has participated in several exhibitions in the western United States including California, Oregon and Utah. She was an exhibiting artist in the 1988 Nuclear Visions exhibition organized by the Oregon Coast Arts Council which explored the condition of living in a nuclear age. Which toured the United States and Canada for two years.

In 1998 Boyer changed her medium to painting. With discipline and diligence she taught herself to paint. Boyer's current work reinterprets gesture not as a renewal of Modernist theory but she uses gesture to recall the body in time. Placing the body in time, places it in relation to everything else happening at that same moment. It is in this context that the self exists and is also obliterated.
She is currently living and working in France.

November >>

CP: Can you tell us about the collaborative work “Extreme Narrative” that you are exhibiting for the forthcoming ‘Relay Exhibition’?

JB: It is a work based in identity and 'the other'. What I mean by that is the identity represented in Extreme Narrative is in relation to some other person or situation. It is this context which places identity in relief. Extreme Narrative looks at how an identity is interrupted by context, by 'the other'.

CP: Why did you choose to invite guest artist 'Annabel Tilley' to show work alongside yours? What revelations do you think will arise from this collaboration? And how will it re-contextualise the meaning of your '6 obliterations'?

JB: I had been thinking of how I could work with Annabel for some time, even before I joined Cor Blimey, so I had some ideas outlined in my notes about what our work shared in common. When the opportunity arose, I re-read my notes and contacted Annabel straight away. I think the pairing of our work presents a broad view of interrupted identity in that my 6 obliterations offer a psychological balast to Annabel's 64 Fritzl's and her Fritzl's give a tangible sense of reality to my 6 obliterations. 

64 almost-identical drawings of Josef Fritzl blindfolded  © 2009 Annabel Tilley

The moment I saw the work together I could see the meanings of both bodies of work merge to create meaning in 360° - meaning became sort of three dimensional, encompassing abstraction and reality. Annabel's work is based on an actual news story and my work is based in the conception of the psychology and emotion within these 6 subjects - I find this dimensional meaning compelling.
I was struggling to understand why 'innocence' was an obliteration. I could see it as a disarming force, sort of an opposition to negative influence, but that wasn't a fully satisfying rendering. I did a little research into Josef Fritzl and found the meaning that I knew intuitively but couldn't pinpoint. His claims of 'innocence' in saying, and I'm paraphrasing, 'you don't have children with someone if you don't want children,' were utterly destructive to the humanity of his daughter and the children of this forced union - even beyond the other horrendous crimes he had committed against all of them.


CP: You have recently become an associate member of the Core Gallery arts collective, can you tell us what attributes you bring, and the vital role you play?  

JB: I was self employed with my husband for over 16 years as a craft jeweller in The States, so I have a background in business, learned the hard way - by doing. All of the organizational skills, marketing skills and general professionalism that I developed come with me. I see my role as one of supportive propulsion. I hope to help move things forward in the paths already laid out. 

6 obliterations - denial
12.5" x 9.5"
acrylic, graphite, ink, pastel, gesso on paper
© 2010
image courtesy of the artist
CP: Since joining Core Gallery you have gained access to an extended community of artists. How do you think this will impact the "moment of creation” within your practice? 

JB: Well, every stimulus goes in and comes back out. For me, that process manifests in that moment of creation. I've worked hard to learn to trust that moment because it is the ultimate unknown. Not only are your movements unpredicted, but the reasons for them are also unknown. And there is no knowing where you're headed. But that is why I said in my blog, 'I never face the white unarmed.' Every time I go to work all the stimuli I've accumulated goes with me, that will no doubt include the stimuli from my colleagues in Cor Blimey.

I've learned to trust the moment that stimuli comes back out and listen to it.

CP: What do you think the key is to creating a sustainable artist-run space?  

JB: Cooperation. It assumes everything else that is vital to success - honesty, integrity, trust, sharing, responsibility, communication. If there is a basic agreement to cooperation among members, then I truly believe obstacles can be overcome, or at least those obstacles become defined and separation can take place, if needed. It's like any partnership, it takes work, but if the will is there the partnership can thrive.

Vif! - solo exhibition August 2010, La Galerie d'art à la campagne
Charente-Maritime France

CP: You have a blog (Working in Isolation: a dialog with history) on Artists Talking. Can you tell us what discussions and dialogues have arisen as a consequence? And how this has been useful to profiling yourself as an artist?

JB: I am so grateful to a-n for the Artists Talking platform. So many discussions have come from my blog it's hard to know where to start. A big discussion of identity has come about with David Minton. He is very exacting and he has demanded some keen explanations from me about how context defines and obliterates the self. I've had wonderful discussions with Rob Turner about technology and nature. I have several dialogues with other artists which happen privately via email but were initiated by Artists Talking. They detail practice, theory, our 'gods' in art, etc. Without question, all this writing and dialogue has helped me to clarify my ideas.

It's damn hard, but I love to be challenged for an explanation of my work or concepts.

CP: Within your paintings we get a fleeting glimpse of ‘gesture’ and the presence of the ‘artist’. There is a Deleuzian sense of becoming and an unresolved quality within the work. Can you talk about the importance of transience within your paintings?

poof!, 20" x 26" gesso, graphite, acrylic binder, © 2010
image courtesy of the artist

JB: We live in a universe of flux, everything moves. Transience is what is real for me. We all carry our histories to each present moment, so what was, is becoming and what is, was. There is no beginning or end, just moments of awareness.

I see 'presence' and 'gesture', for me the indicator of presence, as being fleeting, momentary. The world has changed so much and so rapidly I think the only hope we can have to state our presence is in a flash, as an inscription rather than an expression, to borrow an idea from Sean Burke, Jacques Derrida et al.

alight, type C print, © 2010, image courtesy of the artist

CP: Your practice is heavily engaged within the painting medium. However recently you mentioned that you have started to work with the photographic image again, can you talk about what direction this has taken? And how the two mediums inform one another?  
JB: My photography has always been abstract, I feel that is an important thing and makes the transition practically seamless. Essentially, I can do different things with abstraction according to each medium. Photography allows me to work with what I 'see', painting allows me to work with what I 'feel' in a sensory, tactile sense. I think the precision of seeing, via photography guides my painting and the imperfection of my movements in painting animates my photography.

CP: Do you have any forthcoming projects / news to divulge?

JB: I'm going to be co-curating an exhibit with Rosalind Davis in the spring and I'm really looking forward to that. I want to develop a curating practice as well. I know it's a hip thing now to be an artist/curator, but I've been interested in curating for years and the opportunity for me to explore that is now with Core Gallery.

CP: What achievements would you like to reach in the coming year both professionally and as an artist?

JB: I suppose, at the moment, the two go hand-in-hand for me. I would like to do more work with sculpture, and this would require the space to make and present it. I'm thinking a lot about history right now and I'm noticing other references to history as I read. In my mind I'm dismantling the notion of history as linear and I want to explore that.


CP: Thank you very much Jane!

JB: Thank you Chantelle. I'm delighted to be a member of Cor Blimey, it's really exciting!