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Jacques Nimki is creating a new artwork in the grounds of the National Centre of Early Music that responds to pathways that we use to find the Centre. Jacques Nimki works from and within the urban landscape, using mainly weeds and flowers as a way of exploring how we perceive others and ourselves in specific environments. Each work is about the particular site. Researching and ‘walking’ an area Jacques collects information in a deliberately unstructured way. He returns to these areas to collect plants for drawing, flower pressing, and seed collecting. He uses a variety of sources including printed and electronic media, abandoned shop-bought flowers and images of populist decorative flora captured in domestic settings.
He says, 'sometimes these pathways appear spontaneously as tramped down paths in the snow meandering this way and that ... I want to record and document the unknown, unseen, trivial and irrelevant in a series of physical journeys across the medieval centre from York St John University to the National Centre for Early Music.'
Jacques Nimki works from and within the urban landscape, using mainly weeds and flowers as a way of exploring how we perceive others and ourselves within particular environments. Plants like people, looked at but not seen, forgotten in the backdrops of the every day, inhabiting places that are usually neglected or unexplored.
Each work is about a specific site. Researching and 'walking' an area, information is collected deliberately unstructured way. Jacques returns to these areas to collect plants for drawing, flower pressing and seed collecting. He using a variety of media, both traditional and modern, very much like a classical botanist, but in a also references flora from a variety of sources including printed and electronic media, abandoned shop-bought flowers and images of populist decorative flora captured in domestic settings.
Researched material is stored on a database and used as a reference tool to support all areas of his practice. Containing over 120 plants and over twenty categories, from a basic description, to their magical properties, social history, edibility, symbolic associations etc. This type of information; the way it is stored and written, deliberately avoids and has no conventional scientific value, it is anti-botanical and written in a crude, simplistic and haphazard manner.
In the studio, on paper and on location, he makes drawings that are barely visible, using H pencils that create very fine and subtle lines.
The collaged paintings are made on encapsulated paper using water-based paints, each work combines representations of weeds drawn or painted from direct observation, including pressed weeds and printed imagery that are permanently laminated into the surface.
Both drawings and paintings are dense in mark making. The barely visible lines and intricate mark making of the drawings contrast strongly with the layering process of repeated laminations in the paintings, a direct mimicry of how we view weeds - impassable or not at all.
Off-site projects are also instigated using the plants, seeds and local information collected during a survey. These works have taken the form of weed fields placed inside buildings, plants propagated in pots, drawing installations, weeds grown hydroponically and weeds displayed in glass as traditional floral arrangements. Most off-site projects, but not all have some form of communal engagement, either with schools, youth, adult groups and universities.
Other aspects of his work have included concocting a variety of both non-and alcoholic weedy beverages, exploring the culinary delights of weeds and creating rare and desirable weed beauty products.
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This event is part of the Structures of the Mind: Architecture and Innovation festival theme. Also in this theme: