Jay Clarke is a Leicester UK based artist, runs workshops for adults with disabilities, and has a history of curatorial projects. Graduating from De Montfort University in 2019, Clarke is returning for an MA. Already Clarke has exhibited internationally, from collaborating on a large-scale sculpture for Art of Sustainability festival in Florida, to exhibiting twice during a cultural exchange year to the St Cyril and Methodius University, Bulgaria. Clarke’s works has also won multiple awards from Bute Street Film Festival’s Best Artist to the Leicester Society of Artists Runner Up award. His first major solo exhibition launched two weeks before opening the degree show and ran for two months.
Jay L Clarke’s multidisciplinary work is predominantly focused on the figurative using autonomous processes in low-tech materials such as expanding forma and plaster to create visceral works caught in a transient state of decay. The autonomous aspect in the work allows the work, for a period of time to take on a life of its own while in a state that is neither liquid nor solid. For a time on a molecular level the sculpture creates its own forms away from the hand of the artist and left to the element of physics. The sculptures processes abstract the bodies in either a bubbling up or dissolving of forms, in tiny pockets of air which build up a fleshy form. Its routes situate in the traditional sculpture techniques of sculpture studied in Bulgaria, but with influences stemming from Art Nouveou, destructivism, and themes from psychology. The results of a semi-autonomous process are sculpture made with space and audience in mind to create emotionally evoking artworks playing on preconceived notions of the gallery space and viewer. Such pieces as ‘No Love, No Plans’ and ‘When I was 16’ from the Innatention exhibition employ shoney smooth fronts contrasting a glutenous back somewhere between growing in form and shrivelling away. A gelatinous submersion of resin is used in Melatonin. Most of these sculptures use this fluid-like form and wet appearance of surface which reflects the chemical reactions which takes place in the processes of making and transforming of materials from liquid to solid. New work will be developed with further research into abjection and play on the philosophy of the white cube to create installations which play on gallery politics, but also psychologically and sexually charged, engaging with the fragility of masculinity.