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Blueprint London to Amsterdam 2013

Converse Highlight Of The Week: Jack Brindley

This week, we pick out the RCA painter employing abstract utilitarian techniques

For this week's submission in the run up to the last week of the prize entries, Royal College of Art Painting graduand Jack Brindley has dazzled in the Converse/Dazed inbox. Interested in the more utilitarian side of paint and painting, his work has been shown in Kettles Yard Cambridge, Matt Roberts Vyner St and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2012. He also operates as part of the curatorial duo 'Open File' with Tim Dixon, and as such has staged events at the ICA and Spike Island and operate as a tech-inclined project across printed publications, live events and the website…  
What aspects do you frequently find that you return to in your practice?
I am often surprised at the acute relevance that architecture has in my work. It may sound pretty generic, but, thinking about how spatial practices inform culture, personal and even political agency is a pretty significant topic for me. In a nebulous sort of way propositions that have their roots in architecture seem to always echo around in the studio, never becoming 'resolved' per se but always returning and inter-pollinating one another. 

What is at the core of your work?
To put it very simply, its thinking of how ideas and objects circulate around in the world, and the conditions that create them. As artworks are as contingent with their surroundings as any other object is, I'm interested in how this relationship can operate both as a materially implicit thing as well as something abstract in a much bigger schematic system. Recently, thinking about how diagrams function has been pretty useful for me and I have begun to think of how work operates as a placeholder for something outside of what is present.

How does your work engage with the history and discipline of painting?
I don't think that I'm interested in engaging specifically with the history of painting in my work. Well, at least not in the Fine Art sense. A lot of my interests in 'painting' is how it exists and is deployed the the world; found material gestures, industrial processes or how paint is used for utilitarian purposes. I like the idea that the application of paint in these instances is relative to a notion of labour, and perhaps its creation is co-opted through verbs such as 'covering', 'filling' and 'surfacing' instead of aestheticising verbs found in the traditional sense of painting.

Describe your process?
It's not particularly clear or easy to describe, but perhaps it shouldn't be. Like most practices things develop and you are surprised by outcomes. Ideas and work are both formally constructed and emerge organically, there is no hierarchy between the two. Perhaps something involving intense procrastination, scattered thoughts and a lot of coffee would best describe it.

What's your everyday inspiration?
Everyday I cycle through the city and everyday I see something new.

What's the best exhibition you've seen in the last six months? 
I really enjoyed Matias Faldbakken's recent show at Simon Lee, there was something really dumb yet beautiful about it. Also, Steve Bishop at Carlos Ishikawa was great.

What living artist do you most admire?
This is a tough one, and it changes all the time. I'm a fan of Thomas Hirschhorn's work, but he walks a fine line between being critically astute, punk, and Relational Aesthetics. Its a tough gig to pull off. 

What is it about being an artist that drives you?
The ability to ask questions without the need for an answer. People always talk about medium specificity, and this is something that I think is incredibly important but even more vital is the plasticity and diversity of vocabulary an artist can have. 

If money was no object..?
Do all of the above but get paid for it!