How long have you been working at Mall Galleries, and what does your role entail?
I’ve been a part of the Mall Galleries team since September 2014, so it’s approaching my second anniversary (which is positively peanuts in comparison to some of the legends that still occupy these golden halls). As Duty Manager, I’m mainly responsible for opening up the gallery over the weekends and making sure it is in check during the multiplicitous evening events.
It combines front of house work with back of house work, so I get the best of both worlds when it comes to meeting interesting members of the public and members of various art societies and illustrious competitions. However, it does mean I have to escort people out of the gallery at the end of a private view, so if you hear my dulcet tones on the gallery’s speaker system, make haste!
What do you enjoy most about working at Mall Galleries?
I think the sheer variety of work that the gallery has housed during my tenure has been the most enjoyable aspect about working here. From the formidable and sparsely hung (for us) The Columbia Threadneedle Prize, to the overflowing works of the New English Art Club, I’m always being introduced to new things.
And it goes without saying that the job itself would be a lot more dull without such a effervescent team to work amongst.
You are a practicing artist yourself, tell us a bit about your work and influences.
I tend to describe my work as digitally influenced abstract painting, however I would also state that my work is nearly always in flux so this might change if you ask me in a few months… I’m currently very much involved with Process Art, where the actual doing of the work is an integral...well...an integral process. I’m enamoured with the simplicity of a process that can produce exceedingly complicated results, and vice versa, examples of which can be found in the work of Bernard Cohen, Michael Craig-Martin, and Peter Davies.
Within my work, formal notions of composition are run against particular painterly processes in order to create an environment that engages with illusionistic depth and the limits of optical space within a surface. Reactions to fizzing digitalisation are interpreted through specific colour choices and considered arrangement of free-floating forms. These gnawing and acidic fizzes have been subdued by attempting to address and accept materiality within the work; the use of spray paint and charcoal has allowed a small level of sabotage to be incorporated that struggles to undermine a controlling nature and allow a measure of unpredictability to emerge.
Where can we see your work?
Although still in need of an update, a catalogue of my work is available to view at jacksutherland.co.uk. More recent updates and vaguely chaotic behind the scenes action can be seen on Instagram and my work is available to buy through Saatchi Art and the Mall Galleries very own Click & Buy scheme. I exhibit regularly in and around London, having had a solo show at the Back Room Gallery in Peckham at the end of April. A selection of my works on paper and other miscellany can be seen and bought at the DIY Art Market in the Copeland Park on the 16th of July (although I personally might not be there!)
Do you have a favourite Artist (FBA member and/or other artist)?
I’m always very pleased to see new work from Melissa Scott-Miller; I find her suburban depictions of North London genuinely fascinating and very much admire her ability to get so much content from a very concentrated area located around her studio/residence.
As for non-FBA artists, I would have to say that the aforementioned Peter Davies has always intrigued, along with Tomma Abts, Sigmar Polke, and Andreas Eriksson, to name but a few.