Michael Jenkins assemblage artworks have the ArtChat team wondering where he gets his ideas from and the artistic process he goes through whilst creating a piece. We have all the answers behind his amazing artworks and about the man himself in this special interview.
AC: Tell us about how you source your materials? What do you look for?
MJ: The sourcing of materials can take me to some unusual places that would not normally be on the agenda for an artist. For instance wrecking yards, hard rubbish days, metal recyclers, building sites, road traffic and safety shops, EBay or even the regular surf trip to Bali are all places I source art supplies from. But I do love walking along the beach with my dog Ricky and finding some “found objects” that can be made into art.
AC: How do you plan your compositions for an artwork considering the materials you work with?
MJ: The layout and compositions come from an ability to create a virtual reality of what is possible with each sourced material. Finding the materials and working out the potential rather that having an idea and getting a canvas and painting that idea, my artwork can often be more intuitive and spontaneous. The compositions come from the need to find a common link, be it the colours, the patterns, the graphics, the sculptural relief or indeed the ravages of age on the sourced materials.
AC: Do you listen to music while you work, if so what is on your playlist at the moment?
MJ: My music tastes are quite varied but most often when I create I have silence. The preparation of materials is often very loud with the use of powered equipment so when creating I like to achieve a “now zone” and get lost in a time not punctuated by song intervals, this allows a purity of creating, the ideas in my head are music to me….
AC: How important is the textual quality to the aesthetic impression of your work? How do you achieve a balance?
MJ: The balance achieved when creating the artworks is vital. It is the common link that has to be maintained whilst using the vast array of materials I work with. Because of this, having a keen eye for the various layers of details that each component may possess ensures the potential for a successful outcome. With years of experience in Assemblage art and many sales, this allows a confidence in my ability to keep pushing my perceptions and keeps me questioning the point of balance that can be achieved in each piece of art.
AC: Repurposing materials is environmentally friendly. Were you always conscious of the creative possibility to reuse and repurpose materials?
MJ: The recycling of materials is vitally important to me for both my artwork as well as my philosophy in life. Often these found objects are at the end of their “life cycle”. This allows me to achieve an originality in the art work as each piece created has its own individual spirit through its age, patina and history and its own story to tell and ponder about….
AC: Apart from the skill of construction what other aspects of your life inspired you to compose your style of artwork?
MJ: I have always been an avid collector of all things “that may come in use one day”, a man of great peripheral vision, a strong ability to think laterally and a great passion to create. With my professional career in the Construction Industry, where the overlying need to achieve a perfect outcome together, with the concept of using old imperfect materials and “making something out of nothing” create a strong influence on my artwork. In a way my artwork represents a change in direction of consumer belief that everything has to be shiny and new. My artwork shows that what is “old can be new again”, a new existence if you like.
Michael is currently on exhibition alongside other abstract contemporary artists Conchita Carambano and Trevor McNamara at Red Hill Gallery, 61 Musgrave Road Red Hill, Brisbane until 20 September 2015.