we talk to jamie hawkesworth about his new exhibition
'A Blue Painted Fence' explores the energy of people and places from across Kenya, Louisiana, Romania, and beyond.
Photography Jamie Hawkesworth
Jamie Hawkesworth is on the runway, waiting for a plane to take off and take him to Nairobi, Kenya, “to carry on with a project” he’s been working on. It’s a short trip, though, as Jamie will return to London this Friday for the opening of his new exhibition, A Blue Painted Fence. The exhibition’s title is not too dissimilar to that of his last major exhibition, Landscape with Tree, which was shown at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam last summer.
Landscape with Tree was an almost-retrospective of a young photographer’s work; shot everywhere from Preston to Russia, India to Colombia, it collated his fashion images, editorials, and travel photography. Both titles imply the root of descriptiveness in Jamie’s photographic practice. The image Landscape with Tree was captured in Congo. He found the image Blue Painted Fence waiting for him after a two month road trip from Los Angeles to Canada. This geographic breadth and roving spirit defines Jamie’s work. “I’m really interested in the idea of photography as something that's about being out in the world, building a momentum and rhythm, and being open to chance.”
Photography is an energy for Jamie, propelling him forwards through the world. As a collective, A Blue Painted Fence combines images created in Kenya, Louisiana, and Romania. “It's encouraging that these different places, peoples, motions, can exist in the same room without it feeling like it's been forced together from pieces of a million different projects. It's an exhibition that's structured to feel like it's open to possibility and chance.”
Jamie has also started drawing, which he will be showing for the first time in this exhibition. He exhibited some sculptures he made earlier this year, at a small show in Soho. He’d made them from pieces of debris found whilst bored in Scotland, in a tiny village by the seaside. If the sculptures came out of stasis, the drawings come from energy. “I kept on finding that when I came back to London after being away taking pictures, I didn’t know what to do with the energy I had –– that’s where the drawings come from. I just found myself naturally doing it, it was about finding a way to digest feelings and experiences.”
“Our perspective on motion is at the mercy of chance. Rhythm creates a path through the day” is how Jamie described the exhibition over email, and that rhythm, he says, is a unifying force between photography, film, drawing, and sculptures. It all comes from the same creative rhythm. “One photograph leads to another photograph leads to another photograph –– everything builds on itself to the next thing, and then the photography starts to lead me anywhere. I just want to capture feeling and sensitivity, and with the drawings it's about trying to create something where there is no feeling in difference between the drawings and photographs and films. It's all just one thing.”
A Blue Painted Fence is open from December 1 until December 19 at 1-7 Aylesbury Street in London.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.