We caught up with Adam Dix in his East London studio for this extra special Q & A, delving into his practice...
- How were you introduced to Jealous Print Studio?
- Faith and community seem to play an important part of your subject matter- why?
Traditionally these are areas that bring people together and are forms of early social networking. Socially we rely on community, constructing solidarity through common gestures of unification.
The French sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the phrase ‘Collective Conscious’ when describing traditional societies, such as family, clan or tribal, where a totemic religion played an important role in unifying members.By sharing in a traditional uniform action within society you create a mechanical or choreographed solidarity, with a totality of belief and sentiment that is familiar to a single member, but shared to form a determinate system; collective or common consciousness.
Modern societies tools and methods may have changed, but symbolically they seek the same connectivity and promote a sense of belonging or place. A unifying experience, albeit through the spectacle of a screen. Spectacle has always been a part of mass group activity (think of church stain glass windows). As well as the audience being physically present there would be symbolic gestures in order to give coherence and sense of meaning and control to the shared experience. The difference today is the ‘interface’ to enable this has radically changed, allowing the individual or individuals to socially engage without physical contact; a social spectacle instantaneously through our screens, homogenised and alone together.
- You source and collect images/information such as old photographs and news articles of similar subjects to that displayed in your work, how do they influence your subject matter?
That’s correct, I have a large catalogue of old printed ephemera from the 1950’s onwards. I think it’s fair to say, it is the lithographic print quality that has influenced my colour palette when I make work. I tend to look at the structure of the subjects depicted; how the image is formed and where the photograph has a soft quality in conjunction with the pastel colors, dense blacks and strident reds.
I have in my studio a mood wall where I display an array of images that interest me, a pictorial diagram where one image starts to visually have a dialogue with another. This continually changes and grows depending on the project I have set myself.
- Do you find the advancement of technology worrying, or do you celebrate it?
There is always advancement in technology, but it is more about how it filters down into mainstream society and becomes part of daily routine. What bothers me is a continual visual distraction of infotainment, a digital feed that interrupts and promotes an illusion of the world, where the analogue version is compromised, edited and becomes the norm; stoking the social anxiety to stay connected.
- The colours in your works are quite complex due to their painterly style, what attracted you to screenprinting over digital printing?
I know exactly what attracted me, and that was the skill and subtle nuances that can be achieved through screenprinting.
In the past with Jealous, this has led us to create prints where the layers of ink have gone into double figures to achieve the right finish. For me creating a print this way, with the partnership of someone more technically adept than myself is a great exchange, a discussion in the application and subtraction of colour within the printed image. Unlike digital prints you can see a physical construction of colour within the finished article, how one colour sits in conjunction with another or overlays the colour below. It’s an analogue process that has a record of time in its structure, not unlike painting.