The Old Bank Vault | Artist In Focus

17th October 2017

Joseph Gibson

'On the Road' by Joseph Gibson is an amalgamation of images captured on his travels from California and Ibiza to right here in East London. He describes the series as "moments in time usually transient, now find themselves frozen, permanently etched on glass". 

To read more about Joseph and his inspiration see an interview we recently did with him here. 

Q1. How would you describe your artwork and process?

For as long as I can remember I've had an interest in vehicles. One of my earliest works was a birthday card for my grandfather, I did a detailed pencil drawing of a 1920's mobster type car, front on, I was so proud of it I think I asked to have it back after his birthday.

It must be 12 or 13 years ago now that I came across a beautiful Canon A1 in my Dad's garage. He kindly said I could borrow it, and I'm still "borrowing" it now.

During the second year of my Fine Art Degree at Kingston, I would repeatedly go to one of the photography tutors for him set me challenges in order to improve my photography. I'd often break into places I shouldn't be; building sites, abandoned houses etc and complete the task list. This is how I got to know my Canon A1.

Travel and holidays simply mean an opportunity to shoot. I'm always on the hunt for beautiful, rare cars. They can be rusty and falling apart or concourse condition but if they meet the requirements they get catalogued on film. I may take one image of a car and be content or I may struggle to find the perfect frame and shoot the best part of a roll, deciding in the edit which angle represents it best.

I was introduced to screen printing at Kingston, the print workshop was a beautiful mess, a place of calm away from the Uni bar. Screen printing requires great planning, preparation, practice, and patience. There are always improvements to be made and tricks to be learned. After 10 years of printing, I've still by no means mastered the art.

In recent years my focus has been firmly on image making, screen printing my film photography being my go to medium. Layering these processes enhances the build-up of texture in the final image.

Q2. Where do you create all/most of your work?

I'm at my desk at home a lot in the evenings, planning prints and compositions on my computer. Printing an edition will mean hours at a time spent in the studio. I often do the graveyard shift, working through the small hours when it's quieter in the studio. Then I'm up and out for work during the day and back in the studio the next evening. I do a lot of CMYK prints which take time to do well. You have to be patient with each step and you cannot rush so it may take many hours to complete an edition.

In recent years I've been a member of a few print clubs in East London. East London Printmakers and The Print Club. The atmosphere in these studios is reminiscent of the workshop at Kingston Uni, if you spend enough time there you can learn so much from those around you.

Q3. Tell us about the pieces you have on show at The Old Bank Gallery...

One ingredient in my latest body of work On The Road is the readymade, in this case car windows. I wanted to move away from working on paper and set myself the challenge of producing images on glass. The imagery on show has been accumulated on my travels. You'll see views from California, Ibiza, Las Vegas and here in East London. These moments in time usually transient, now find themselves frozen, permanently etched on the glass.

A large format four colour screen print accompanies the glass and offers a colourful alternative to the monochrome of the glass work.

Q4. What do you enjoy most about working with The Old Bank

The energy that Sim has for making things happen is infectious. Inside The Old Bank itself you'll find a beautiful mix of objects and artwork. It feels great to have work on display alongside a great selection of other artists.

Q5. Do you have plans for a new project / body of work?

Working on glass is still new to me. I have plans to expand the series and continue experimenting with ways of displaying the work...