Jack Vickridge was born in Singapore
He studied Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and Fine Art at Kingston University
Jack currently lives and works in London
A conversation between Simon Newby and Jack Vickridge
Simon Newby: For your last show in London you showed just wall-based works. Can you talk about your decision to show three-dimensional pieces at Outpost?
Jack Vickridge: For my last show, all the work was completely new to me, in that I had never dealt with such graphical, image based work, so I wanted to show them alone as a contained body of work and almost removed from my previous practice. With this show I still wanted to focus on this printing process that I've been working on, but to try and understand the nature of the works more by making contrasting pieces alongside them, like those planks of material and very quick, immediate watercolours - things that stand at a distance from the prints and hopefully help to situate them and draw out their nature.
SN: The works Beam II and Channel are composed from bamboo and cement. Bamboo is sometimes described as ‘bone-like’, with its knuckles and tube-like make up. How do you choose your materials, and how much freedom do you give them, in both your prints and sculptural works?
JV: Bamboo is an amazing material, I have always used it for drawing - and it's those indirect or hidden possibilities in materials that I look for, like how bamboo holds ink, and if it's cut at an angle it can create a sharp point to draw with. With the prints I can really play with the way that properties and discriminations of materials that you wouldn't be aware of become visible. A roll of packing tape I got from a pound shop created a completely different effect in a print from a roll of packing tape from a 99p shop. Even with mass-made materials you can find uniqueness which becomes a voice which is completely integral to a piece of work.
SN: In the past you’ve spoken about wanting little trace of your hand to be visible in the works. The works do not feel fabricated - like a John McCracken - there is something gestural and expressive to them, but there are also senses of industrial or scientific processes. Perhaps it could be said that it is in your selection of the charismatic materials you use where your hand leaves a trace.
JV: It’s important for me to find a distance to work at, like overlooking an event that’s taking place. There will always be marks my hand have made but they get taken over by the laws of everything else involved - then the work has its own momentum and I can start to look at it from the outside. I often think about my practice in relation to the act of recording - say for example you are filming a tree, then the film is this relationship between the movement of your hand filming and the movement of the tree, and anything at any point could come into shot. That’s really it; anything might come into shot and you just have to allow it.
SN: The small watercolour in the show has a very different feel to the other works. Is this you lowering your guard, or another method of removing your hand?
JV: I guess it is lowering my guard a bit. I’ve made small watercolours like this for a long time, but always backed out of showing them. It seems to be from a different place to all the other work, I won’t go into the relationship but it feels right.
SN: Yes it does. Thank you for talking to me and showing at Outpost.