Jobe Burns - Mixing-Room
With London’s Frieze in full swing, we caught up with sculptor and spatial artist Jobe Burns who opens his latest work “Mixing-Room” during the four days over at Nike’s 1948 space in Shoreditch /
GG / Last time we met up you were talking a bit about this evolution of your work, and how at the time a lot had been in motion or building toward this point. Now that its opened how does it feel to see all the work together in situ?
JB / Yeah a lot has evolved from the last time we spoke. Its actually amazing seeing them outside the context of my overgrown studio & in a space where they can live properly. Its like I’ve sent my babies off for their first day at school with their laces tied and tie straightened.
Duality is a piece that stands out immediately to me, the revolving door notion with plush smooth textures on one side and rougher more aged and worn textures on the other. It sparks many thoughts around how life can go from good to bad and visa verse in the blink of any eye.... without really putting a point on which side is meant to be better than the other. What were you saying with this piece?
Exactly! Duality is a piece that represents the grappling of our minds. The idea that a door allows us to transition from one space to another, was the focal point in being able to communicate the way in which we represent ourselves. The door essentially presents you with 2 options: 1. The hyper glossy, refined candy green with a stainless steel panel. Or 2. An authentic fire door that has scars of use, history & a story. These 2 options seem to be something that my generation battles with, at least I know I have. Do I present myself as the perfect being online or do I accept my scars? Duality confronts you with that quite literally, as you are the one who has to spin the door.
There is a stark tonal contrast between the white sculptures and the more colourful furniture elements. Why was that and was their particular colours used for specific reasons?
MIXING-ROOM is about the relationship between the body and the mind. The figurative sculptures represent the body in the space & the use of pale tones is representative of something grounded and secure. The furniture pieces act as the mind, they're bright, colourful, full of energy & appear to constantly be in motion due to their finish. This is really where the conversation between the 2 take place. All the colours used I made myself, all mixed and sprayed until I feel we achieved the perfect tones. They were all developed in Birmingham at my dads car bodyshop.
Nike again seems to play a part in this exhibition coming to life. How is that relationship evolving out of your last Concrete Objects project into your solo work?
Nike have being great accommodating this project. I guess working with them on a more commercial project allowed them to see my ability to work across mediums. We have been talking for quite some time now and this seemed the right time for me to show some personal work and thankfully, they were supportive.
Is this show highlighting the first steps into your bigger plan of working towards the home environment and redefining how we interact with it?
Absolutely. This exhibition is a study into how we communicate and engage. The Adaption Chair is apart of a large social well-being pavilion I’ve designed, focused around healthy and sustainable metropolitan living. This is something I’ll speak more on soon.
Interactivity in Art is becoming more and more prevalent with the evolving instagram generations. To a point that it almost feels like some artists add elements like this into their work with the express idea of instagram engagement. Would you agree /what are your thoughts on this?
I dont really see these as Instagram moments, I see them as breaking down the layers that exist that make art intimidating. I’m not from a massively artistic background & often I see works which are massively intriguing, that seem haptic & sensory driven, but I cannot touch them because its placed on a plinth inside an establishment. With the figurative works, I can only tell if they’re truly completed by feeling them, the viewer should be able to share some of that experience with me.
Whats next for you?
I would love to push the sculptural work forwards. The core focus right now is final development on a company that will come to life the end of this year afters 2.5 years of planning. Im excited to share it with you.