Jim Riley - Inside His Mind
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from in part my own interaction with the world. If I am in an environment and have time, I will video tape what I see or find interesting. I tape much more than I use since I use slow motion. What I do with these images is more influenced by my own mind in post production editing. Other aspects of my work come from some unknown place to my consciousness. Perhaps other planes of existence. I know that the idea is sometimes just there waiting for me to catch up with it.
Do you have a ritual for creating your art?
No, I do not. It is more of a drive and need to create. That is not a constant drive though as I am influenced more by opps I have an exhibition coming up..better get to work. Then it flows under pressure.
What impact do you hope your art has on others?
It depends upon what the purpose is for the artwork. At times, my work deals with socio political issues. In those situations, I hope that the viewer is encouraged to ponder the concept. At other times, my work asks the viewer to ponder as well. It may be to simply look again at mundane activities. In my installation for Dream State the work discusses a multi plane of existence. The idea that memories become part of the environment as if absorbed into the physical space.
Who is your favourite artists?
I can not say that I have a favourite artist at this point in my career. I have been influenced by several artists over the decades depending upon what media that I work with. It may not have shown directly in my work though.
I recall seeing reproductions of Bottecelli in my early 20’s. I was not impressed until I saw the actual painting “Prima Vera” in Florence and was stunned by its scale and beauty. Similarly, I was awed by Fran Angelica’s frescos in Assisi. The real work was almost a spiritual experience for me compared to reproductions. Of course, Bansky, the guerilla street artist, is very interesting as well but I admire his ballsiness and simplicity of his imagery.
I would say that I am impressed by such video artists as the US video artist Bill Viola. His use of slow motion to capture a moment in movement and time has influenced me but I don’t know if I was doing that before I saw his work or not. In hind sight, I realize that I saw one of his installations at the Art Gallery of Hamilton before I was working with video.
Do you ever think that you are misunderstood as an artist?
I enjoy hearing other people’s interpretations of my work. As far as being misunderstood, I tend not to concern myself with that. The viewer may not have the skills to “get my work” but generally I find that they do get somethings from my work. I don’t feel insecure if they do not enjoy my work. I don’t believe in the tormented misunderstood artist. I think that is more of a myth than a realty today.
Selina Jane Eckersall is a content marketing strategist, freelance writer and entrepreneur living and working in Burlington ON. Selina is the Executive Director of No Vacancy.