Ahead of the XL Catlin Art Prize 2016 FAD managed to catch up with all of the finalists, next up we have RCA graduate Jamie Fitzpatrick.
Jamie Fitzpatrick in his studio London
1 Can you tell us about your work and what are the main ideas you try and express?
All of my work starts from this origin of trying to heighten that experience of what it means to be in front of objects that are symbolically associated with some sort of aesthetic of authority. Most of the things I have made in the last couple of years have tried to evoke this idea of the abject in acts of violence, humour and absurdity through the handling of materials and subject matter. I guess I’m kind of trying to undermine this well-established visual rhetoric through the making of the work, placing the viewer in shifting states of subordination and empowerment. I like this game of who is in charge of who, between some bombastic sculptural figure and the living, real audience. Through this, I have become less and less fixed on trying to make them have some sort of critique and, now, relying on the strength of them to sort of get there themselves. And, as well, it’s fun.
2 Where and what have you been studying and how do you feel it has benefited you?
I was in Sculpture at the RCA. It’s a bit naff and nostalgic to say but the year-group I was in was great and now I have this peer group in London made up of quality artists. The kind of people who make work that’s so good it makes you both happy for them and pang a little with envy, and it gets you back into the studio to raise your own game. I think for me, the place itself provided a space with the facilities to try things out that you realise is a luxury only afterwards. I guess the benefit is that if I hadn’t have gone through that whole institutional process I probably wouldn’t have ended up where I am now, making the work I am now so, ultimately, yeah it has benefitted me in that way.
3 Can you tell us about the work that will be on show at XL Catlin Art Prize 2016?
I recently had a show at VITRINE Gallery that focussed on this idea of the theatrical and narrative potential in the work, and so, I had this play that I had written and the works sort of came out of that. This show came directly off the back of that and, originally, I had envisaged it as a new play that you would walk around and the sculptures are constantly moving and acting. So this show came out of a second play that was written for several parts of which each sculpture works as a character of. But, as the whole show began to reveal itself a bit more it all felt a little prosaic and too narratively obvious so, as it developed, I decided to leave the play behind. I figured that you don’t need to give the audience everything and that too much context might kill the whole thing. This show for XL Catlin Art Prize 2016 is a sort of aftermath performance. I still see the space as some kind of stage that you will walk through but, nothing is really happening anymore. My hope is that the sculptures will be moving but not as some kind of confident acting but rather in these sort of pathetic, limpen movements. Grunts and murmurs rather than self-assured soliloquy. It’ll all be a little bit pathetic I think, like rubbish monsters desperately trying to be scary.
XL Catlin Art Prize 2016 Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
Thursday 5th – Sunday 22nd May 2016 www.xlcatlinart.com
This year’s finalists are: Rory Biddulph (Slade School of Fine Art, MA Fine Art), Jude Crilly (Royal College of Art, MA Sculpture), Jamie Fitzpatrick, (Royal College of Art, MA Sculpture), Christopher Gray (Goldsmiths, BA Fine Art & History of Art), Jane Hayes Greenwood (City & Guilds of London Art School, MA Fine Art), Hamish Pearch (Camberwell College of Arts, BA Sculpture) and Neal Rock (Royal College of Art, PhD Painting by Practice).