Our In the Studio artists visited the workspaces of Tina Jenkins and Mark Nader, where they explored the relationship between art and music through a series of live musical interpretations.

In a little nook off an unassuming Wandsworth road, the studios of Tina Jenkins and Mark Nader can be found. During our visit, two musicians, Lucas Polo and PJ Ciarla, responded to the artworks of Jenkins and Nader, creating an “eclectic sound which mirrored Tina’s experimental visual works,” noted In the Studio artist Jonathan Farningham.

Jenkins is a mixed media artist working primarily with acrylic paint which she uniquely applies to plastic sheeting rather than a canvas. In 2014, she won the prestigious Threadneedle Prize for her piece “Bed Head” which was praised by judges for its "bold approach to the human form and clever use of material." Jenkins continues to create striking works on plastic, painting in a way that is at once freewheeling and restrained – her graphic compositions are created through a series of cutting, tearing, peeling and scratching paint away and then building upon it again. The cacophonic nature of her work is underlined by the artist’s interest in the relationship between painting and hysteria, an area she has pursued in her PhD research. “I was amazed by a combination of visual elements created on plastic sheeting which offer a contrasting glossiness to the frenetic visuals of the works,” said Farningham.

In the Studio artists visit Tina Jenkins' studio

Influenced by his mixed British-Mexican heritage, Nader’s work explores iconography and ideas of exchange and theft, appropriating and subverting imagery drawn from historical references to produce collage style paintings. His work deliberately misinterprets cultural stereotypes challenging the cultural ignorance brought about by our reliance on social media platforms and the blinkered view of the world they create.

Mark Nader's studio 

In Nader’s studio, the artists sat on the floor surrounded by bold and colourful canvases depicting “a mixture of different cultures and societies both ancient and modern from Japan to Mexico,” as described by Farningham. The group listened as the musicians interpreted Nader’s paintings. Farningham recalls the way the combination of sound with visual stimuli brought a new level of awareness to the art viewing experience: “I found it an amazing way to absorb myself in the paintings, to find their translation in music.”

I found it an amazing way to absorb myself in the paintings, to find their translation in music. 

The multi-sensory experience generated a level of intimacy to the group art viewing experience that was felt by all. Jenkins commented on the electric atmosphere in which “you could breathe the creativity filling the air in that space." She continued, "such a lovely and attentive audience really helped to make us feel comfortable as well, and allowed us to get lost in our little world and think of the artworks and the sound only.” While Farningham concluded, “I thought to myself that this is an experience we must strive for more, where do the arts meet and where do they separate, and what can we learn when we unite them?”

Find out more about our In the Studio programme here

Musicians Lucas Polo and PJ Ciarla in Mark Nader's studio