Jade Montserrat exhibition 13-27 July 2019
Jade Montserrat is a Scarborough based artist with a restless and thought provoking practice that sits well in this deconsecrated Chapel of Dissent. Having studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2003) and Norwich School of Art and Design, MA Drawing (2010), Jade is as familiar with the heavy weight canon of Western art, as she is with laying it down and stepping aside. She works at the intersections of art and activism, progressing through performance and live art, works on paper and interdisciplinary projects. Currently undertaking a PHD entitled ‘Race and Representation in Northern Britain in the context of the Black Atlantic: A Creative Practice Project,’ Jade is focusing on the associated development of her artistic work from the black diasporic perspective in the North of England. Her PHD is supported by an award from the Stuart Hall Foundation. For this exhibition Jade is actively engaging with Truth-Dare-Art, an inter disciplinary social practice forum created by CAS artist, Laurence Dube-Rusby, bringing educators and artists together to explore the power of social action art. The work on the walls is the result of live dialogue generated through the issues and explorations that evolve through this process.
Further reading: Truth-Dare-Art at CAS Jade Montserrat Exhibit in Pictures
“The reason I have been able to arrive at an idea of drawing as an expanded process is because I’ve gone through a certain type of education and my mum emphasized the importance of life drawing, observational drawing, drawing with charcoal. Although I’m saying drawing is democratic and generative and has these possibilities, in practice it doesn’t work unless we’re all up to speed with the idea that creativity can happen at any point. I think that the potentials of drawing are opened up through language and the way most people think about ‘drawing out’ as a way of thinking through something, an actioning or a movement. I’m arriving at this formulation that drawing is more like performance, we’re leaving a trace and that trace can be a conversation. I find it difficult to divorce writing from drawing, because they both demonstrate how we interact with one another. I’m seeing that there’s a connection between us all, through dialoguing there is a line, there’s a thread. The beauty of charcoal is that it has this contagious aspect. It’s fundamental to our life on the planet, just like how our interactivity is, we can only really strengthen if we’re working together. If your thinking is informed by an ethics focused on human rights or sustainability it allows a certain freedom – all the things that maybe could be embarrassing or risky can be overcome, because I see drawing almost as a formal way of approaching my art practice. Thinking of drawing in that way allows me to feel creative and take every experience as a valuable experience and be quite present in each situation.” – Extracted from Jade Montserrat ‘Contagion’ in Eds. Kelly Chorpening and Rebecca Fortnum “Companion to Contemporary Drawing” (forthcoming, 2020)