IN STUDIO with Joel Dickens

1) Who is Joel Dickens?

I was born in England, studied Fine Art in the Lake District and after a number of years living, working and exhibiting in London I moved to Sydney in 2003. I live in Paddington with my wife Kate and our dog Sterling Fox

2) Explain your current body of work?

The subject matter for this body of work comes mostly from current news stories. I don’t see them as being descriptive of events, they are not narrative in that way. They aim to document the mood of society, the zeitgeist. They aim to document the emotional response to such events. They discuss the plight of the individual, at the centre of their universe, trying to receive and process all this information…trying to remain on track and not be overwhelmed. I am attempting to capture the chaos, the confusion, the struggle that is day to day existence, whether you are the person at the centre of events or an outsider looking in. In a way these works are a diary of that struggle.

3) If you can pick one artist as an inspiration, who would it be and why?

I’m afraid I can’t pick one artist, Munch, Kirchner, Picasso, Bacon…I am inspired by any artist who has the courage to tackle the big questions about life and the human condition. I draw as much inspiration from certain writers and musicians as I do from painters.

4) With your own art/art practice, where would you like to be in 10 years?

I hope that I would be in a position to be able to do something useful with my work, bringing certain causes to peoples attention, maybe working with charities to raise money through art sales. I’d like to be with a gallery in London, with more travel between the two cities. I hope that maybe I’d have a big enough studio to do work on the scale I’d like to. I wouldn’t mind living in the South of France.

5) How are you finding the current art market?

It’s difficult to sell art at any time, especially if you don’t paint particularly commercial paintings. I do feel the uncertain financial situation has meant that people are playing things safe, both in the production of work and the buying of it. But ask me again after the show!

6) Name four things that you cannot do without in your studio?

My radio…pen and paper for taking notes, the odd beer. Pedestal fan.

7) What was the funniest thing you’ve heard someone say about your own work?

Somebody who bought a painting said she moved it from the bedroom to the hall because it kept giving her nightmares. Not funny really.

8) What is next on the agenda?

My show at Arthouse, short break, then start painting for the next show. Some friends and I are arranging a couple of group shows which will be fun. This year I want to concentrate on finding representation in Melbourne.

9) Where can we find more about Joel Dickens?  –  Buenos Aires & Switzerland

All blog posts and images are copyrighted and all rights belong to – Sydney Art Galleries and Art Community and Mark Rowden


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