We chat with Skye Jefferys on her current abstract art exhibition, Wandering Spirits, that’s on display at The Australia High Commission in Singapore from October to 6 November.
Climbing into an abstract artist’s mind is always an interesting journey. The way they see the world, process emotion, energy and the world around them is often unique – that’s part of the driving force of their creative energy. These are just some of the insights we gained from our interview with highly sought-after abstract artist, Skye Jefferys; a totally inspiring chat that made us want to pull out the paint brushes and let our inner artist come out.
Skye Jefferys, originally from Australia, has been living in Singapore for the last three years, and she has had sellout shows at the famous Fenton & Fenton in Melbourne and with Australia’s biggest Design site, The Design Files, last year – of course, another massive success of a show. So we were thrilled when we heard she was exhibiting in Singapore this year – the exhibition, Wandering Spirits, is currently showing at The Australia High Commission, and it’s a must-see. We also love the fact her artworks are for sale, (and at very reasonable prices); we bet they’ll all be snapped up… the ones that aren’t already!
We pinned Skye down for a chat about the new exhibition, and this soulful artist explained the process, the inspiration and the objectives of her art.
Hi Skye! Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think this is a really difficult question to answer, because I don’t feel like anything ‘inspires’ me to paint. And yet, everything does. For me, painting is a system to get to know yourself and decipher the world around you, and the need to paint comes from deep within.
The titles of the pieces are quite literal, but the art is certainly abstract. How do they relate to each other?
I like that you ask this question, because I actually disagree. For me – the titles, while obvious, ARE actually abstract. If I wanted to name my paintings with a literal title, for example, I would call this one “navigating the complexities of human relationships”… but I don’t want to spell it out for the viewer. I want the viewer to bring their own meaning to the work. As I observe things in this city, I often jot down words or phrases that i think will make nice titles but don’t really bear any relationship to what I am exploring within the painting process. As I work, a narrative will appear, and that’s how I name the show and the work. It’s very intentional not to explain to the viewer what each painting is about.
When you work on a piece, how does it all come together?
I start by putting on my apron; this makes me feel like I am ‘at work’. I close the door, put a podcast on, and leave everything else outside. I’m very spontaneous when I begin a painting, nothing is planned; I just start building up layers with broad, free brush strokes and whatever colours I have. As the painting evolves, it takes on a life of its own and it begins to dictate the colours and the forms. It’s all about relationships. I try not to know what I want it to turn out like, and that sense of not knowing encourages me to keep pushing.
This collection is darker in palate than your others. Can you tell us about that?
My palette is intuitive; it begins with how I am feeling and what I am experiencing, and it transforms as the painting evolves to be dictated by the act of painting itself. I think, in life, we all experience strong emotions that are sometimes difficult to understand, and I try to represent that aesthetically. I love colour. I see colour in everything, and I notice tiny details of colour everywhere… but I also feel very perplexed by colour. I feel that I don’t understand it at all. The colours I tend to use are vivid and expressive, a little exaggerated perhaps; sometimes jarring, and other times harmonious.
What do you hope these pieces do for their audience or acquirer?
I guess the ultimate aim is to make the viewer feel something – to evoke an emotional response or resonance to the work, or to simply enjoy the colour palette. I invest a lot of myself in each work, and I hope that the observer – not necessarily sees that – but sees layers and depth and movement and light and dark and all the stuff that makes us human. The good and the bad.
Wandering Spirits is showing until Sunday, November 6, 2016, 8.30am-5pm daily.
The Australian High Commission, 25 Napier Road, Singapore 258507; For artwork sales enquiries please email Skye directly at [email protected].