In life and art, you never know what you’re going to get. And that excites Jamie Q.
This is the approach the London artist took in creating a new art book, The Possibilities Are Endless, published by Western’s McIntosh Gallery Curatorial Study Centre and launching this Friday at the Forest City Gallery.
“In making the images, nothing was planned in advance. I would just sit down and start something, and the image just kind of emerged as (I went on),” Jamie Q said of the prints contained in the book, composed of colourful shapes lines and patterns, each abstract and fluid, standing as a a map of the creative journey. “The end (of each image) was a surprise because I didn’t know what was going to happen. In terms of image-making, you can come up with something different each time you start – and if everyone were to do that, everyone would have endless, unpredictable images.
“I like the surprises. I like seeing what happens in the end. When I don’t have an idea in the beginning of what it will look like, that’s the most exciting part – to see what happens. And I like to think of that as expanding beyond the book. It’s not just about art. It’s about everything we can do with our lives in the world.”
What you may be tempted to do, knowing the artist’s approach, and what may prove difficult, is isolating the print’s staring point.
“There’s something about trying to figure out the logic of it. There’s a certain kind of logic to the decisions I make when making something, and I wonder if people try and figure out what it is,” Jamie Q explained. The artist added the starting line is usually the perimeter of the print, the use of one colour, followed by others until the image is completed with black outlines.
“Some of the (images) toward the end of the book I’m really happy with. You kind of feel like you’re working through something, and the ones toward the end, the ones that are more recent, feel closer to whatever you’re working toward. I’m always most excited about the most recent work I did,” added the local artist.
Jamie Q competed an MFA at Western in 2010 and has been self-publishing work and printing ’zines for nearly a decade. For those who see the book, the artist hopes its images inspire – that they do something for each individual.
“I think there’s something else people can like, besides what it looks like. Maybe it makes them feel a certain way or it inspires them, or something else, rather than just thinking it looks nice.”
Recent comments on some of the prints have included people saying the art makes them happy, that it encourages their eyes to move and to keep looking.
“If it’s something that people could sit with, and keep coming back to and keep getting something out of it … I hope people find it interesting, compelling and inspiring.”
Jamie Q recently completed a public art project commissioned by the City of London – a mural under the bridge by the London Children’s Museum. For the artist, the mural is, in a sense, the last installment of The Possibilities Are Endless.
IF YOU GO
Following the launch at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, the book will be available on the artist’s website, jamieq.net, as well as the Forest City Gallery, 258 Richmond St., for $15. Silk-screened prints based on images from the book will also be available at the launch.