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Photographer Jamie Hawkesworth on expanding his creative practice to include sculpture

“What I always preach about photography is that it’s just great to see what you come across,” Jamie Hawkesworth, an artist who needs little introduction, tells us about his creative practice. It’s this approach, one of both wandering and wondering, that has gained Jamie respect in numerous cultural fields and his latest venture is no exception, but this time its sculpture.

In Jamie’s creative career one factor which regularly crops up in interviews is the fact he didn’t follow the same pathway as everyone else, joining university as a forensic science and criminal investigation undergrad. Soon, and thankfully, he switched to photography and found himself “spending so much time in the library that I started getting interested in things that I’d never really thought about,” he explains. Photography and art were the main discoveries he delved into, but sculpture is one he’s only leant his hand to since getting out in the field. For instance, on one job he went on a trip to Nevada to photograph sculptor Michael Heizer, “he’s this incredible land artist,” says Jamie. “Experiences like that, once you’re starting to see things, particularly in real life rather than in a book, it’s incredibly inspiring. I guess I started to get interested in lots of different things I suppose.”

But still, even after meeting Michael creating sculptures wasn’t a conscious decision. Within his practice Jamie also tries to travel regularly, noting that he’s “always thought it was really important to go on sort of unplanned trips a lot of the time, particularly while taking photographs,” he tells It’s Nice That. One destination for these trips was Inverness, Scotland, where the artist would stay in a house with no electricity, “and I guess, through kind of boredom really, I just started collecting stuff I found on this stretch of beach.”

Finding bits and bobs is never an endeavour anyone can set out to do, it’s probably only when people go looking that they don’t find anything. In Jamie’s job as a photographer half of his days are filled with “just a way of spending time,” he explains. “Ultimately, when you’re taking pictures you’re spending a lot of time walking around, which is essentially what I was doing with this, spending an awful lot of time collecting stuff on the beach, so photography isn’t a million miles away.”

Jamie then began to balance objects together, seeing what worked aesthetically and which parts could physically hold as none of the sculptures is stuck with adhesives. Taking photographs on his phone, "to document them so I could remember how to balance them basically,” he ended up showing a couple to his assistant and friends. From there, a long want to do self-initiated shows kicked in again and a show was organised and held in Soho back in February.

Moving the items back to London, however, was “actually impossible,” he explains, "a nightmare.” But building them back together in the gallery space, regularly readjusting them too, mirrored the process of making the sculptures in the first place. “When I showed them they were falling over all the time, which is part of it really. I liked the idea that I would reassemble them in the space. Some things balance, some things don’t, that’s quite a nice restriction in a way. When you’re printing in the darkroom, for example, you can only do so much. It was nice that when I was making the sculptures it was a similar thing where there is a limitation because obviously, not everything balances together. It was interesting to play around and then if it worked, it worked, and if it didn’t it just kept collapsing, if that makes sense.”

Jamie’s exhibition, Photographs and Sculptures was open for just one weekend, purposefully, as Jamie liked “the idea that the sculptures didn’t last very long, I liked that they were showing for a short amount of time,” he explains. Located at a space in Soho actually leant out to graffiti artists, “it was basically a shithole,” the artist spent a week with his dad, his assistant Cecilia and a group of hardworking interns, “all painting frantically”.

It was worth it. Due to the light in the space when the sun came up light travelled “right up and down to the heart of Soho, you could see to the end of the street,” Jamie describes. To get the full effect Jamie opened the exhibition at six AM (and some actually arrived for its opening), as the “light in the space was just so incredible that it felt great to invite people to see and experience the sun.” Inside the space, Jamie’s sculptures were coupled with large prints of his photographs chosen for featuring an aspect of time passing. “Obviously through being bored I sort of made those things, so I think it’s quite nice to think about that.” In turn, the exhibition’s poster featured a portrait of a man looking outwards on a bench, “a very appropriate sense of atmosphere for the show". Others included a plastic bag caught in the wind or a long path, “again it’s just that sense of time passing, walking around and seeing what you come across,” he points out. “It was all meant to support the way the sculptures were made I suppose.”

Jamie will exhibit a further exhibition of his sculptures from 4 — 7 October 2018, with more details to follow.

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

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Jamie Hawkesworth: Photographs and Sculptures

List Features / Sculpture Matthew Raw: the east London artist making clay great again

Ceramic artist Matthew Raw “got into clay” during his BA in Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics at university of Brighton. “Growing up I was more interested in photography and graphic design, but had an instinctive draw towards three rather than two dimensions,” Matthew tells It’s Nice That. “It was the immediacy and variety of using my hands to shape clay that attracted me. It is such an expressive medium and I began to make work inspired by events and situations around me. Coupling this with a non-interest in functionality, and I guess that that’s how it’s panned out really.”

Mark_alsweiler_int_list Work / Sculpture Mark Alsweiler’s charming wooden figures are created using found materials

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List Work / Product Design Sculpture: 3D artist Maiko Gubler produces a stunning range of coloured jewellery

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Main Work / Art Sculpture: Rodan Kane Hart creates stunning geometric works of art

Rodan Kane Hart is a South African artist and graduate of the Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town. Having only received his bachelors degree in 2011 he’s got a pretty impressive body of sculptures to his name already that broadly deal with the colonial origins of modern South Africa. Though I’d struggle to say that I appreciate the fine details of the concepts behind his practise, I’m incredibly impressed by his use of materials; the balance of industrial and natural substances and the interplay he creates between geometric forms and landscape. Definitely one to watch.

Jamiehawkesworth-photography-and-sculptures-sculpture-itsnicethat-list Work / Sculpture Photographer Jamie Hawkesworth on expanding his creative practice to include sculpture

“What I always preach about photography is that it’s just great to see what you come across,” Jamie Hawkesworth, an artist who needs little introduction, tells us about his creative practice. It’s this approach, one of both wandering and wondering, that has gained Jamie respect in numerous cultural fields and his latest venture is no exception, but this time its sculpture.

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If Editorial Magazine came out monthly or weekly, It’s Nice That would be full of articles about it. Each time it’s released founding editor Claire Milbrath brings something brilliantly new to the table, from her commissioning to the subjects the articles dive into. The most recent issue has just done it once again. But, rather than ramble on about it ourselves, we’ve let Claire take the reigns this time.

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Will-cooper-mitchell-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography "The power of the camera has always amazed me": Will Cooper-Mitchell's explorative photography

For photographer Will Cooper-Mitchell, photography and place are inherently linked, neither existing without the other in his practice. Shooting almost exclusively on black and white 35mm film, Will’s classically stylised work sees him using the medium to explore the world, drawing inspiration from greats such as Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank and the Japanese Provoke movement.

Ellie-art-int-list Work / Art Ellie Ji Yang’s idyllic paintings explore the rhythms of the natural world

Ellie Ji Yang’s joyful and colourful paintings explore the rhythms of the natural world. Brought up in Gwang-ju, a city in South Korea “that balances city and nature”, Ellie was surrounded by “greenery and small forests” from a young age. “Connected to nature, my memories of these places are the foundation of my imagination”, she tells us. Now based in Brooklyn, NYC, Ellie’s paintings vividly recall her childhood, creating idyllic, vibrant scenes, pointedly absent of anything human-made. Many of her works include animals reminiscent of Asian culture and symbolism, while others showcase worlds containing mysterious prehistoric and religious references.

Jackbool-photo-int-list Work / Photography For Jack Bool, the beauty of analogue photography is in the unknowing

Jack Bool’s practice blends art photography with fashion, and these different ways of working inform each other. “I use art pictures in an editorial context”, the artist explains, “contextualising images to contradict their initial function intrigues me”. His images juxtapose beguiling still lifes, landscapes, high gloss fashion images and iPhone shots, to create smooth and cohesive series.

Suzannesaroff-fish-photography-itsnicethat-list Work / Photography Suzanne Saroff's meticulously arranged photographs alter perceptions

Photographer Suzanne Saroff began working in her discipline the way most do, developing a love for it through picking up disposable cameras and point and shoots. Hooked, the Missoula-born and now New York-based photographer “endeavoured to learn as much as possible about the art, teaching myself aspects of DSLR cameras and learning lighting techniques while exploring composition and subject matter,” she tells us. Since then, composition has become a part of Suzanne’s work she’s garnered a following for, arranging glasses filled with water to alter perceptions of a well-known object, from a lobster to half a papaya, or a bunch of peonies.

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Thinkpiece-image-list Work / Opinion Arts cuts are bad for our health – what are we going to do about it?

Jodie Cariss works as part of Forever Curious, a creative initiative set up to work with local east London primary schools. One of the many things they offer is a series of “buddy up” sessions, where industry professionals share stories with a view to make them come to life. Below, Cariss writes how increasingly important it is that these initiatives exist in a climate where cuts are rife and asks: What next for a generation let down by state funding for the arts?

The world feels messy. Politically unstable. A growing sense of slowly mounting chaos and fear over the unknown. One of the UK’s worst-hit areas is the education system. Teachers are leaving in droves. The National Audit Office has tasked mainstream schools with making £3 billion in savings by 2019 – that’s around £800 per pupil. Nearly a quarter of the teachers who qualified since 2011 have already quit the job.

Inevitably, money for creativity and the arts within the curriculum has been fiercely reduced, in some areas to non-existence. Our schools are facing a scarcity of teachers – or at least, many with depleted energy after meeting growing demands – and art cupboards with just one ream of A4 paper for 900 students. I’ve seen it with my own eyes in a Hackney school.

So what happens to a generation of young people, particularly the 4.1 million who are classed as underprivileged, with limited opportunities at home, and fewer at school?

There will be a rise in adolescents with behavioural issues, leading to a less mentally-well adult generation. We know creativity has a direct correlation to the way we feel and how we express emotion, and poor mental health is already on the rise, with one in four people experiencing a problem each year.
Without sounding like the doctor of doom, the education crisis will pave the way for social and creative regression. Why? Because creativity is fundamental to the way we understand the world, form and keep relationships and develop our own sense of self. The ability to create, which begins in early development as play and forms the foundation of the way we find meaning in later life, is essential for a balanced and stimulated generation.

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