Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique discovering thesis and processes behind the work.
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Conversation between Kirk Jenkins and Olivia Ramos.
Size: 24 x 24"
Medium: (combine painting) acrylic, treated fabric, plexi coated
RAMOS: Hi Kirk
Great to have you here
I've been looking at you work
and from the images i can't tell if it is a raw material, an image of a raw material, or a representation in painting
and i like that bout it
JENKINS: Thank you for sharing your perspective.
each artwork is a combination of raw materials, representation and painting.
I never use digital images.
for example, Image 0484 (i'll replace this with a name later), thee seems to be a giant piece of metal nailed to a canvas or piece of wood, and a strip that might be a representation of metal.
this one is straight forward regarding the different materials or technique
on the other hand image 0572, i can't tell what is real and what is painted
This piece in particular is a cross breed of the 2, raw materials that I have sourced, and painting.
I work from a basic concept, which is the duality of the physical world and thus the unseen "spiritual realm" - and the way that I envision the two to be.
If I find a raw material that captures what I'm trying to convey, then I use it. I love that it is ambiguous to the viewer, for it is open to interpretation, an element of mystery.
what is your intention? for example, to experience this duality or to expose this duality...
Well I think its really a bit of both. I have a deep desire, and a hunger to understand, express and explore what I don't understand, and what I can't see. But it gives me a real feeling and sense of comfort thus calm, to be able to tangibly articulate what I do and don't know.
So to simplify - yes I want to experience this duality, but all so I want to shed light on it and make it easier and more natural for myself and others to talk about.
why have you chosen this specific duality? physical and spiritual
Well; I have always had a deep fascination and connection with nature, the ocean, the land, the sky and all of the elements. Yet there has always been a deep intuitive undercurrent and feeling, that there is something far deeper and greater than what we see and perceive with our eyes and thus senses.
What has really fast tracked and enhanced this exploration and interest for me - was the day I walked into recovery, and began the journey of sober living, a year and half ago.
what does sobriety have to do with the unseen?
Ha ha. good question!
Well to my surprise, it was and is one of the most important parts of true recovery. For the underlying problem of my pain and addiction, was based in a lack of faith thus connection with the spiritual realm.
If everything in this universe truly is connected, of oneness, and governed by the same force that permeate and gives life to all things. Then I better get familiar with this source and put my self in alignment with it.
as you know I am bias on the subject and see sobriety as a great gift - it is amazing to me that access to faith or the spiritual realm is cure of sorts that keeps you form hurting yourself.
why paint the duality instead of just the spiritual?
is it simply for contrast?
I truly believe the two go hand in hand.
For one I live in a physical body and a physical environment, and I know that and can see that, but on the other hand I believe that this unseen spiritual realm that I speak of, this powerful energy and intelligence that governs all - this same energy is living inside of me.
I want express and see these 2 facets side by side - in the hope, that I will gain insight, wisdom and a deeper understanding of what I really am.
ok so then the work is not about the spiritual world as much as it is about you.
Well - You just helped me in discovering and uncovering that.
Thank you. Bless you!
well lets unpack that a bit - so you are both physical and spiritual - the physical stays behind and the spiritual continues...?
I guess I am curious about what there is to discover in the first place .
Well if their is any truth in my beliefs, then the physical and the spiritual both continue. The body decomposes and goes back into the earth, to feed and replenish it and the spiritual energy or spirit continues on in the energy flow of the universe and returns in another form, if that is part of that spirits cycle / journey.
The mystery and element of discovery for me is - that I am not 100% certain of this, for at this very moment, I have no recollection or memory of having ever experienced this cycle or metamorphoses.
if there was to be no physical world, would the spirit still exist?
I believe it would, and once has.
is it possible that this physical world is a choice?
Yes. I am very open to believing that, and as you ask that question, I am experiencing that deep, beautiful feeling of knowing, connection and a sense that I have been here before. Which is what I'm really trying to explore, and in a very simple, human and creative way trying to convey that through visual images. (Art)
I certainly find value in knowing I have been here before, because it takes away the edge of dying, and take away the pressure of running out of time.
i wonder if you are searching for a purpose that transcends this lifetime
rather than a history of your time here
You are beauty! This is the constant battle between ego "the physical sense of self and identity vs the eternal foreverness of the spirit, that I have been struggling with my whole life. And quite possibly one of the the biggest reasons for my wanting to numb out and run away into the depths of addiction, because of the pain and turmoil it has caused, of associating to much with the temporary physical existence.
i have one last question - how does your work help you navigate or further discover you spirituality or duality and how do you know Ego is not involved?
The fact that when I'm creating, I am totally open, centered and vulnerable - and in that state, I am aware that something is guiding me, and a wonderful feeling and sense of gratitude and humility comes over me.
I think that the ego is always there to some degree - it all just depends on how much, and is it helping or hindering my connection with God and others.
Healthy ego or unhealthy ego.. that a whole other conversation. Ha ha