Jessye Gelder, 2015’s Carclew artist residency recipient, is only just getting started. She’s nailed analogue photography and is now creating beautiful ceramics as well as camera-making like one of her heroes, Wayne Martin Belger. In COLLAGE’S latest Artist Spotlight, she cites her artistic heroes as well as what her future looks like.
Q: Hello Jessye! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: I get really inspired seeing what other experimental photographers are up to, what contraptions they have made in order to capture images, and what ways they have processed their images after taking the initial shot.
Wayne Martin Belger’s HIV Camera used to photography HIV sufferers. HIV-positive blood is circulated in front of the pinhole to create the effect of a #25 red filter
Wayne Martin Belger creates amazing cameras which are specific to what he plans to photograph, tying the camera and the subject together. This made me start to consider the camera as more than just a contraption to create images.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Obviously photography is my main focus, but that has begun to branch out and I’ve begun to explore other mediums in order to implement them in the process of creating photographic images.
One of Jessye’s photographic works
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I’m not sure that I have a style. My work is very experimental and process driven, and I guess that could be considered a style.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: Normally I come across an article about a photographer, a photographic process or beautiful old camera, which gets the brain going. Then I tend to think about how I can use that process or camera, and maybe how I could use it with instant film. This leads to an explosion of ideas, which culminates in a sketch for a new ceramic camera, which I create. Finally I get to play and have fun with the newly created camera or process.
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: Hopefully I will continue to be part of SALA each year, and eventually have a solo show. I also hope that I’ll progress further with ceramics and actually be able to sell functional vessels and cameras, as well as sell my own work and perhaps run some workshops in between all of that.
Yves Klein, Jessye’s favourite artist
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: My favourite artist isn’t a photographer, but his ideas and innovation is amazing and so inspiring. Yves Klein patented his own colour ‘International Klein Blue’, he used a flamethrower to singe canvasses and created performance art where he applied paint to naked models and either pressed them against canvasses or dragged them across canvasses on the ground as performance art.
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
Jessye’s Instagram page
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
Q: If you could only take one book with you on a dessert island, what would it be?
A: If I could get away with it, I’d have the whole collection of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion all in one book, if not then I’d just take The Silmarillion. I’ve read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings plenty of times and I have just started to read The Silmarillion, but it is so complicated and is only compiled from incomplete stories and notes, so it doesn’t flow very well. It would be a good book to have for a long time. I feel like it would take a lot of work and time to work through to gain a better understanding of the universe that Tolkien created.