Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Art Space Talk: Josephine Gibbs

I recently interviewed artist Josephine Gibbs. Josephine instructs all the mediums within printmaking at Yavapai community college. Born in England, she now lives and teaches in the USA. He work can be found in several private collections.

Josephine's artwork is interdisciplinary. She combines materials and explores the possibilities of them while creating. The main theme of her work is to stir up the viewers sense of imagination and promote a feeling of wonder. Subjects that influence her work are Eastern Indian and Native American Art, transpersonal psychology, and comparative mythology.

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. "It was not until my highschool years that I realized Art was more that just a hobbie. I graduated and continued on to undergraduate school and then six years later to Graduate school. It was in highschool that I became very interested in intaglio etching. I went to college to continue to learn about the medium. In college I discovered drawing, and painting on a large scale. Through these mediums I discovered myself. As a shy person I could speak through my creations and I learned that drawing whether on paper or a plate it the easiest way to get things outside of myself."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "Society is always influencing my work. There are a couple about Factory Farming, others about time, and pondering its cyclical nature. My new pieces are more about spiritual evolution of the human being. Deeply thinking about life, its happenings, the fast pace culture we live in and how to transcend ourselves beyond the rush."

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "Some pieces are done quite quickly as others take months. It depends on the inspiration."

Q. Has your art ever been published?

A. "My work has been published in Direct Art, and some college journals."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "I make dark English black tea with milk and sugar, look through my sketchbooks and listen to really load music, Such as, Thievery Corp., David Gray (currently, but not always), Bjork, Cat Power and more."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "Very intuitive, sensitive beings who are very passionate about art."

Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?

A. "I will discuss a piece entitled "Chaos and Order", It is a small piece that is part of a scroll I am working on right now. It is an etching of a friends tatoo. The symbol speaks to me and so I have incorporated into my new work. I have no idea what the tatoo means to my friend as he has agreed not to tell me until I am finished with the series. I don't want his meaning to effect my drawings. This piece has become an obsession of mine. It represents life, so incomplete at times. When I first saw the incomplete circle that it is I saw a metaphor for life. Nothing being symetrical. Imperfection existing in everything. Chaos always spiraling towards order and order to chaos once again. An interrupted whole."

Q. Where did you attend art school?

A. "I have a Masters in Fine Art I got that degree from University of Oregon."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "I work in many mediums but I love the etched line. It is intense and there is no other marks like the marks printed off copper. Copper etching is my favorite because it is the only medium that my ideas easily flow out. It's like the copper tells me what to draw sometimes."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "In Prescott this March, probably."

Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

A. "I still have a tough time as an artist. I'd say the toughest was when I first finished Grad. school. I went from a supportive community and a stipend to trying to survive on nothing and without a studio. I'd say I am still trying to survive just making art."

Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?

A. "I have to for my sanity."

Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?

A. "Spirituality plays a huge part in my art. I have spent most of my days here on the planet critiquing life and studying transpersonal psychology. Along with this I have experimented with mind altering substances. I believe these have added to my spiritual wanderings and to my work.

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Josephine Gibbs. Feel free to critique or discuss her work.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a printmaking class in college. I must say that your work is some of the most impressive images I've seen!