“Art for me is about fun; if I can literally light up someone’s world, even better’.”
This time, for ‘Under the Spotlight’ we had the pleasure to meet Jess Gill, one of the many talented artists working at the East Beach Studios in Worthing. She combs the local beaches and forages in the forests both for materials and inspiration and her work is proudly sustainable, being naturally sourced or upcycled. Humour and irreverence are strong themes at ‘Light Art’ and her playful approach to sculptural lighting attracts viewers of all ages.
Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?
Positive, but possibly for the wrong reasons, we were allowed to relax and chat whilst we worked. We had a lovely teacher – Mrs Hamilton.
What would your school report have said about your art?
I can’t really remember but more than likely my teacher would have said to talk less and focus more on art.
Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?
Self-taught with a lot of help from my friends. I was a late starter in my art career, I was more interested in travelling and discovering the world, but these travels opened my eyes and in turn made my art what it is.
What or who has inspired you over the years?
Travel, nature, shapes, philosophy, engineering, colour, my parents, friends, family, resourcefulness, understanding the pursuit of happiness, architecture, mavericks, peacemakers, characters and doers.
What Artists do you admire?
The list is long but to name a few: Klimt, Gaudi, Turner, Hepworth, Impressionists, my fellow artists down the huts and anyone who loves their work.
What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?
At the moment I love Phurba, the magic wand, I made recently. “The Time Machine” by Joana Vasconcelos blew my mind.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?
My interactive art installation “Decide Before The Tide”.
What have you sacrificed for your art?
I don’t think I have. I think having a creative outlet is one of the most important things in life.
What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?
Everything happens for the best – though hard to see it sometimes.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?
Never give up – the journey as important as the destination.
How do you start a piece of work?
I take something that I have found and start imagining what it will be, and then I put it into action.
When is it finished?
When it leaves, but I do have visitation rights on some pieces!
Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?
“And I’m feelin’ good” Nina Simone
Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?
I prefer silence although I can make a lot of noise with tools.
What is your favourite medium to work with/in?
Metal, wood, stone, shells and light
Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?
Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?
Yes and I strive/hope for more of the same, maybe with a bit more money.
Is there anything you avoid with your art?
Painting… I really want to have a go but haven’t got round to it yet.
Thankyou so much Jess, for agreeing to talk to us today, it has been a real pleasure.
You can see more of Jess, and her work at ‘Light Art’ Studio No. 43, East Beach Studios, Worthing, BN11 2ES 10.30 to 3.30 Tues to Sat weather permitting.