JACK BROWN

b. 1979

Jack is based in Manchester and his work focuses on interventions and highlighting the mundane. He works across a wide range of mediums. The work Jack has with SEAM include found notes that he transforms into silk hankies and prints made from the grease marks left by passengers hair on bus windows.

"I am a contemporary artist, working across a range of mediums and methodologies.

My work looks at the overlooked, things that should be given more than a passing glance, moments that would benefit from magnification. The works I make are often found, realised, made or placed in the public realm.

I also work with other people; collaborate, teach, coordinate, lead public realm projects and facilitate artist networks.

As a counterbalance to direct interactions that punctuate my public projects, my work plays with ideas of placement, slightness, observation and distant collaborations. 

Palm sized constellations made of plasticine and chicken wire, brass rings attached to cylindrical objects in the public realm, found notes becoming silk hankies, holding up a sculpture in a carpark, artworks made out of the grease marks left on bus windows by passenger’s hair, sprawling schools projects about the power of collective construction, looped videos of people’s movements and gestures, hanging trinkets in street grids, posting artworks to people without telling them who it’s from, working with 20 investment bankers to make a room filling painting about mistakes.

Interventions in the wider world, collaborations and manipulations; my practice can be seen as an investigation into ways of making and how those made objects or moments interact with the world around them."

- Jack Brown

 

As one of the many threads of his practice, for the last 20 years, Jack has been collecting the notes, shopping lists and reminders people have lost, left behind or thrown away.
Found on the floor, in pubs, on trains and in shopping trolleys these pieces of paper hold snippets of people’s lives’; lists made out before a trip to the shops, directions to a pub for a friend, someone’s work shifts, a post it reminder, scores from a game, a note under a windscreen whipper.
 

Almost all of the notes I find are instructions, meant for ourselves or others. By the time I’ve found them they a record of a future moment that has now past or rather a ‘past future’.

Brown’s work is concerned with the line between art practice and everyday occurrences, where or when does an object or idea from the world become an artwork? what’s the very lease that can be done to enable that transformation?

Having amassed a large collection of found notes he has re-versioned a selection into silk handkerchiefs.
Through the process of being digitally printed onto silk, each of these notes has been pushed out of the world and into the realm of art objects, but only just, only for a while.

I like the idea of the paper notes, originally carried in someone’s pocket, ending up as hankies that we place back into a pocket once used, it’s a sort of loop.
 

Each of these handkerchiefs tell a short story that can be found in the creases of the paper, the handwriting, the language, the placement of text and the mystery of shorthand notes only intended for an audience of one or two.

Read an article on the handkerchiefs here, "Jack Brown: Scraps of Paper, Snatches in Time" by Sara Jaspen

 

The grease mark left by a passengers hair on a bus window 3

Archival Digital print on paper

50x50cm


(Enlarged from original 20 x 20cm print transfer. Scale 1:2.5)
With an option to be printed larger at 100x100cm

"Using techniques similar to taking fingerprints I’ve been collecting the grease marks left by passenger’s hair on bus windows.The grease marks are brushed with powered charcoal, that charcoal is then lifted from the window with sticky back plastic. The charcoal copy is scanned, enlarged and printed.Reprinted/reversioned they resemble an etchings, or maybe star maps, or something like an action painting. But they are fundamentally just traces of people moving through a city, small records of a surface touching another, hair touching glass and the residues left behind." - Jack Brown

The grease mark left by a passengers hair on a bus window 2

Archival Digital print on paper

50x50cm


(Enlarged from original 20 x 20cm print transfer. Scale 1:2.5)
With an option to be printed larger at 100x100cm

The grease mark left by a passengers hair on a bus window 1

Archival Digital print on paper

50x50cm


(Enlarged from original 20 x 20cm print transfer. Scale 1:2.5)
With an option to be printed larger at 100x100cm

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