“It’s about having the versatility and freedom to be able to, to think in a different way, to not feel pressured about it and to be kind of, objective about your practice at the same time” – Jack Edmonds.
Jack Edmonds is a Painter and Filmmaker from London, after studying Art and Moving Image in Brighton he now engages in multi-disciplinary work. Since 2009 he has exhibited in various group shows and film festivals such as Islington Art Fair, B.A.R Gallery, and The Vibe Gallery and is currently exhibiting his first solo show at 508 Kings Road Gallery, Chelsea named ‘The Alchemist Series’ chronicling work from the past four years.
What is your definition of studio space?
So to me, it’s [how can I put this] it’s a case of compartmentalising you practise towards, its compartmentalising in a practical sense, so somewhere that you work as opposed to somewhere that you live, it’s not the sort of place that I would imagine to live and sleep so much as, somewhere where I can go to think, experiment and create without the implications of domesticity and all the other things that come with trying to work in your own space where you’re sleeping. So it’s about having the versatility and freedom to be able to, to think in a different way, to not feel pressured about it and to be kind of, objective about your practice at the same time, too. As well as professionally speaking, I’m looking into studio space so that I can show potential clients work as well, because you can’t exactly invite clients to your house and say this is what I’m working on this is my practice. So it does have professional implications too as an exhibition space, as well as a working place and people like to, they like to know about your practice and how you make things and the journey leading up to your piece as well as the finished article at the end of it, so I think if you can bring people into that sphere, its almost like you are letting them into your brain, or the process. The process is certainly something that I am trying to be more transparent about with my practice, these days.
What do you think the future of studio spaces is going to look like?
I hope, that, I don’t know, to be honest. Its always been, my relationship with studio spaces in London has always been pretty null, to be honest just down to the fact of space and priorities with space in London, with housing and things like that. I hope there will be more collective things going on in the future, but at the moment, it doesn’t look to me like there is that much opportunity for that kind of thing. Especially, with my practice, I need a lot of sort of space and room to sort of muck about, experiment and make a mess. Although there are collective studios out there, they are quite restrictive in terms of what you can do. I hope that there is room, for growth.
If you had to have a conversation with developers about the future of studio spaces, is there something that you would like to get across to them?
I suppose its just, having the versatility of a studio space, more than anything because everyone’s practice is going to be different. So it’s having something that’s functional that allows you to work in the way that you want to work. Whether it be there are walls that can fold out or go away or you can put down, or there’s storage space that’s useful and it’s modular, the flexibility because everyone is going to be different in their ways of working. Some people work small scale, some people need the space, I use the floor a lot of the time, so where the lights are coming from will vary. So yeah, it is about being modular I think. Obviously, accessible and affordable those sorts of things that we want, ideally but isn’t always possible. Its hard to clearly define ‘xyz’ because it will be different, so its being able to say this room can be split into two if necessary, it can be split into four or you can pull these things out and have a workbench or you can put them away, or you can hang things from the ceiling in case you need to do things like that. It’s about being creative with the space. It would be good to have the option to remove parts of the space, and to add things yourself and if you are going to spend a lot of time there then you are going to grow with it, and it will become its own environment and it would be interesting to see that happen over a long period of time and see what that result is.
The irony is that, as soon as you get a creative hub, it becomes monetized. You look at Shoreditch, or Peckham soon to be, anywhere that becomes a creative influence it becomes trendy because it is a creative hub and then the artists get pushed out because prices go up and then suddenly its a pseudo-creative space like Shoreditch we know now isn’t actually full of artists its full of people that went there because of it was trendy, and its just full of estate agents saying ‘trendy Soho’. It’s no longer trendy. Artists will always be marginalised outside of this idea of creativity rather than be the actual creativity themselves.
I think you do need a space where you can do these things, in the same way when you’re working you need somewhere you can go to work, be creative and leave and leave it there. Whereas, at the moment, when painting at home you never switch off because you’re always thinking about working, you’re always thinking about what you can do now but if you compartmentalise your working life, you’re not thinking about it as much so its better for your own lifestyle.
How is it possible to maintain a creative community work/studio space that allows creatives to achieve their full potential, whilst still ensuring it is a raw, creative and design based environment.
Ensuring a space stays attractive and attainable for all creatives.