10 Questions with Rosemary Joynt
Posted on 8 April 2021
Rosemary Joynt's art features detailed patterns inspired by nature. She explores the cycles of creation and destruction are evident within nature, nature itself is in a precarious situation as a result of climate change.
"My method is intuitive, one of discovery, as I explore the cycles of building up and disintegration both in painting and in nature. The accumulation of layers of paint is reminiscent of the slow build-up of, for example, rocks and lichens," she explains. We asked her 10 questions to find out more about her inspiration and obsessions.
If not art, what would you do?
If I hadn't chosen to study art, I think I would have chosen something to do with Botany. I loved Biology at school. I think it was the intricacy of the systems we were studying and how the parts relate to each other and to the whole. I spent hours drawing the intricate diagrams. Some of these involved a few layers of diagrams that you flapped up to see the inner workings of a locust's complicated mouthparts, for example.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from so many places. One of my biggest inspirations is reading good fiction. While I am working, I often listen to podcasts that feature interviews with authors and I find their creative processes enlightening. Yesterday I listened to a podcast interview with the artist Julie Mehretu talking about her retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is very down to earth in her approach and talks about her thoughts and processes so fluently. Music can inspire me too, its sequences and rhythms often help create momentum in the studio.
What's your secret obsession?
I can think of a few: Salukis, Dries Van Noten fabric and clothes, Nudibranchs and baklava.
Do you have a creative muse?
The natural environment, the disruption of it and paint are my creative muse.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven't yet?
I have never done lithography but the idea of working with the texture of stone appeals to me.
Favorite time of the day?
Evening, especially towards the end of summer when the light changes so quickly and it keeps changing everything as you watch.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can't live without in your studio?
Besides pencils, brushes and all the other art materials, my phone has become very important in my practice. I use it to record the process and the condensed images help me to see what to do next. I also use it to listen to podcasts and music in my studio.
Favourite or most inspirational place in South Africa?
The Eastern Cape, especially the Wild Coast and also the Kogelberg with the incredible diversity of plants that are endemic to those areas.
What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating an artwork?
There are many steps in the creative process, especially in painting and each work behaves differently. Sometimes building enough impetus to start a large work can take time, sometimes the early stage of finding the direction a painting will take is a struggle and sometimes it's difficult to know when to stop.
What's the best creative advice you've ever received?
"Cause a bit of trouble!"
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