Jason Jegels: PCA ‘Student Showcase’

Jason Jegels: Smack 2, 2017 screenprint, edition of 5, 61 x 44.5 cm
Below: now and then: 50 Years of the PCA Print Commission at Collins Place Gallery.
Artist Jason Jegels, studying visual arts at Monash University, talks about his work in the ‘Student Showcase’ component of the new exhibition now and then: 50 years of the PCA Print Commission. The exhibition  includes work for the PCA Print Commission 2017, with an accompanying exhibition of past PCA Print Commissions. The dedicated ‘Student Showcase’ features prints selected from eight leading tertiary institutions.
Imprint: What are some of the foundation ideas that contribute to your work in general?
JJ: In general, I working with social, political and ideological themes in my image-making practice. The way that people interact with ideas is very insightful and I enjoy understanding the way things work and exist in the world through my practice.
I see myself as someone who makes images as my practice, and a lot of the time the influences and muse for the images I create come from the topical and from pop-culture. However, the way I refine my images is through research. This research delves into the historical, theoretical and the anecdotal.
Imprint: Can you tell us something about the work in the exhibition and why/how you made it?
JJ: The work in the show is an exploration of the intersection of beauty and violence. Often the things we experience or are witness to are not black and white, but they exist in a state of flux. The image of the poppy is used as an icon for war, the flower is beautiful and its products are intoxicating. The faceted identity of this flower embodies the way that life is experienced and the way experience may be interpreted. I wanted to reproduce the beauty of the flower and invoke in the viewer their ideas of the how the poppy is beautiful or painful.
Imprint: What do you like about group shows?
JJ: It is a cliche to say that art is not made in a vacuum, however, the group show is a place where ideas, skill and technique are put in context, contrast and compliment to the work of others engaged in the making process. I believe that the end point of a work of art should always be in front of the eyes of the audience and the group show allows the audience’s eyes to be educated as to what other contemporary artists have to offer, as they view your work.
Imprint: What is especially appealing about printmaking to you?
JJ: Printmaking is appealing to me because it has a particular language and context that I enjoy interacting with. The history of information distribution and its ties to many forms of resistance makes the language of printmaking a very rich context to work within. Furthermore, the practice and process of making a print is an important part of how I labour over the analysis and refining process of what I produce and send out to the world. I feel accountable for the things I say with my work and printmaking’s process allows me the time to work with an image until I feel confident in its meaning and its potential reactions.  – Andrew Stephens

now and then, 50 Years of the PCA Print Commission is at Collins Place Gallery, Shop 19, Collins Place (near entrance to Sofitel), 45 Collins Street Melbourne, until 18 August.

The exhibition is a fundraiser for the organisation and all the works (except for early rare archive impressions) will be available for sale. The Print Commission 2017 will be available to order from 8 August.