UCA Farnham Fine Art Student Profile 2014 – Suzie Jones



What are the main themes you have explored in your work and why are they important to you?

I looked into the theory of “The Uncanny” and the role of the mask, especially in horror films, linked with research into Freud. As my work progressed I found myself veering to how “The Uncanny” within popular culture can be appropriated. There is a running theme of mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar in my work and how this is related to Affect Theory, so that my work can create an unusual feeling for the viewer. In the majority of my work I have looked at how to successfully combine iconic children’s characters with horror films and how they might affect the audience.

To develop the idea I had at the beginning stages into something that was exhibition worthy, was a very long and sometimes difficult process. Developing the idea involved looking at different artists that related to my work and being influenced by them in one way or another. Selecting what was important to feed my work and also test ideas definitely an important aspect of my work. Looking at how artists took an idea and how they developed and resolved it was interesting.  Another key aspect in the development of my work was to keep making work and accept failure as an aspect of making. This is something that I struggled with throughout the year; as a result of this there was a period of time where I was creating pieces that were not resolved, but learned to accept this as part of the process. I also developed my work by experimenting with different mediums; this enabled me to see what worked best with my idea. For example, after trialling film I soon found that it worked well with the idea and in the end became the main focus of my practice.

Who where the artists that you learned from?

Work from Jake and Dinos Chapman has had a huge influence on the outcome of my work. Not only for the exhibition but also outside of University. Their work was a significant influence when creating work for the degree show, because of the way in which they deal with the uncanny and the unusual. The shock value in the majority of their work was something that I wanted to carry into my work. Their recent work at the Serpentine also gave me interesting ideas for different and unusual ways to present my work. Another significant artist I looked at was Joyce Pensato. I looked at her work because she uses iconic cartoon characters and presents them in interesting and bold ways. Her work influenced me to create work on a larger scale and to see the results. By doing this I found that my paintings worked a lot better on a bigger scale and as a result I used one of these for the exhibition piece. It made the work a lot more striking and shocking.

What do you think is the most significant thing that has helped you during your time at UCA Farnham?

The facilities at UCA have been extremely useful during my time here. It has been helpful to be able to sign up for lots of different workshops and learn new techniques to support my work. The screen-printing workshop I attended had a huge affect on the outcome of my work because it enabled me to develop stills from my film and work with them in a different way to see the results. In addition to this support from tutors and visiting artists have enabled me to go further with my work through the critical input they have given me. It was helpful to hear their ideas and opinions about my work and to discuss issues around making and the content. 

What did you learn from the process of producing your Farnham exhibition?

Building on previous exhibition experience, I learned about setting up a space that was my own. I learnt about the difficulties and problems that are sometimes present when setting up for an exhibition and have learnt from them. For example I learnt how to work with the space I was given and how I could arrange the space so that it worked with the pieces I was putting up. It taught me how to compromise and make important changes. Overall the process allowed me to understand how everything works.

What are you planning next?

At the moment I am planning to continue creating work that is related to my must recent practice. I would like to create a longer version of my film as I feel that it was the most affective aspect of the work I created. Ideally I would like to gain experience in working in galleries too.

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