THE TIGHT 5 - Interview with Jasmine Clark
by Rosie Fea
After a childhood roaming the dramatic landscapes at Karekare on Auckland’s West Coast, and now living in a 1960s crib at the foot of the mountains in Arrowtown, its no wonder local artist Jasmine Clark has a penchant for pondering sculptural forms and spotting patterns in nature. With a Bachelor in Three-Dimensional Design from Auckland’s United Design School, a Certificate in Visual Arts from Nelson Polytechnic, a long string of prizes, and her work exhibited throughout the country, Jasmine has been weaving her life and art into an intriguing masterpiece over the past three decades.
A keen mind for research as well as aesthetic is evident in her artworks that are often made of bull kelp, wire and natural materials. All communicating to drive home Jasmine’s ethos: affinity towards the environment.
1. Do you remember the first woven piece you ever made, and how did it come about?
When I was a child, mum had a large loom setup in our living room and she would set me up on a small loom so I could weave along side her. The first piece I remember weaving was a small wallhanging woven from wild grass and herbs for my grandmother.
2. Is there a favourite material you like working with most? And what is the most frustrating one?!
I find it’s good to mix things up to keep it interesting, also my hands can get overworked working repeatedly with one type of material. I have a love-hate relationship with copper wire - after weaving a large piece I can end up with quite a few cuts but the end result is so beautiful.
3. Are there any major concepts or themes you find yourself always coming back to when you’re creating work?
I am definitely influenced by nature, plant/ life forms, and weaving and basketry techniques have become the backbone of my work.
4. What's your dream project?
My dream project would involve traveling overseas. Be it for a commission, exhibition, artist residency, or to be a student myself. It’s three more years until my youngest finishes school….watch this space!
5. What would your advice be to someone who says they don’t have a creative bone in their body?
I think anyone is capable, you just have to be passionate enough to put in the time and practice which takes years and years of perseverance and patience. I love this quote by Roald Dahl:
“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”
You can visit Jasmine Clark’s ‘Little Hut’ home gallery at 38 Devon Street, Arrowtown.
See more of her work on Instagram and Facebook @jasmineclarkartist.