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My work has become increasingly process-based. Interview with Jeremy Isamu Irvin by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 13.12.2021
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2021
Jeremy Isamu Irvin. Brooch: Golden Wave II, 2021. Sterling silver, acrylic, gold leaf, stainless steel. 7.5 x 5 x 0.5 cm. From series: Golden Wave. Unique Piece. Jeremy Isamu Irvin
Brooch: Golden Wave II, 2021
Sterling silver, acrylic, gold leaf, stainless steel
7.5 x 5 x 0.5 cm
From series: Golden Wave
Unique Piece
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
I am drawn to contemporary jewellery because of the intimate nature of jewellery objects. Because they are meant to be worn and physically interacted with, I view them as more precious and personal than many other art forms.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
I grew up in a household that appreciated the arts but I was never drawn to them. I think the last art class I took growing up was in third grade. It wasn’t until university that I began to feel drawn to contemporary jewellery as a discipline. I took an introduction to jewellery and metalsmithing class to fulfill my art credit and fell in love. Although I received an Economics degree, I took jewellery courses every term for four years, worked repairing silver antiques, and apprenticed under a Seattle art jeweller. After university, I pursued and received an MFA in Jewellery & Metalsmithing.

I am drawn to contemporary jewellery because of the intimate nature of jewellery objects. Because they are meant to be worn and physically interacted with, I view them as more precious and personal than many other art forms.


How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking is extremely important for my professional practice – both as a university educator and as a working artist. Without contacts and connections, it can be difficult to have opportunities to exhibit work and to teach. I find that the most important tool is personal connection the opportunity to actually talk and interact with others in the field ends up making the most memorable and lasting impact.


What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
I personally struggle with some aspects of the contemporary jewellery world I feel that there is an intense amount of pressure for it to conform to the norms of painting and sculpture, both in process and form. My personal studio practice places a significant weight on jewellery’s traditions, and I always like seeing works that provide new aesthetics and ways of working which are aligned with the precepts of fine craft. I view the future as a melding between new materials and processes with the traditions of the craft.

Jewellery programs in the United States are unfortunately not as prevalent as they used to be, and definitely not as prevalent as they should be. My fear is that, especially with covid’s impacts on higher education, there eventually might only be the largest programs left unless something changes.


Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
I love the access that technology gives me to view contemporary work I can view new pieces on social media and in online exhibitions, rather than only seeing work in exhibitions near me or in books and catalogues. This provides a significant amount of motivation and inspiration, as I can see the work of my contemporaries as they make it.


How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
Over the past few years, my work has become increasingly process-based. I began my work with acrylic (Plexiglas) several years ago as an exploration and have been developing a visual vocabulary built off the use of this material. As the body of work has progressed, I have focused more on manipulating interactions of light within the material when combined with gold leaf, pieces of the acrylic almost seem to glow from within the surfaces. There is still a lot to be discovered, and I can’t wait to see how this body of work continues to develop.

I am always excited to see new work that is being made. I am also looking forward to being able to visit exhibitions and galleries in-person again.
 
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