Jake Morrissey

Interview by Chris Zanko

According to his website, Jake Morrissey is an artist born and raised in the southern suburbs of Sydney with a style that is a mash of youth culture, psychedelic themes and pop imagery. That may be the case, we'll let you decide for yourself when his latest show opens in our gallery. Meanwhile we had another artist of similar ilk, Chris Zanko, slide a few questions under Jake's mo'.

Your upcoming show is titled The Weird and Mundane. Can you break down the concept for us?

I tried to illustrate the everyday and how when the mundane is looked at from a different angle it can often have the complete opposite translation. I’ve tried to turn a mirror on certain aspects of my life that I think other people have experienced so they can see how strange or weird the everyday things actually are.

I can definitely relate to your work Race For The 12:54! This appears to be a backbone work that portrays ‘weekend hijinks’. For those that don’t know, run us through this dramatic situation a lot of us in the southern suburbs of Sydney have encountered.

For sure! A weekly occurrence for us southerners trekking into the city for gigs, shows, or a pub crawl session. The last train is around midnight depending on how south your voyage is but yeah, generally it’s always rushed and involves people being left behind or a boozed turnstile hurdle, ha! Forget lockout laws, just make trains run all night!

You were in America for a while this year, tell us a little bit about that. Are some of these works informed by anything on that trip?

Yeah it was sick, I was pretty stoked to have a mate who I went to NAS (National Art School) with who’s currently living over in New York so I crashed on his lounge for a couple weeks. One of my works is especially influenced by that trip being that its set in a New York subway train carriage, the subway set up there is crazy. So much diversity in the one confined, tight place. The average punter sits next to a Wall Street douche who’s sandwiched in between a couple boys from the Bronx rapping about shooting shit, all under the watchful eye of a Jewish grandmother who’s done some grocery shopping, who’s bags are on the lap of a sleeping Chinese man haha, it’s the best!

Some of your work for me resonates nostalgic advertising motifs, is this something you’re aware of or am I trying to read into your process too much?

Ha! Nah I can get that, I feel like the way my work is drawn with bold outlines and solid block tones of colour it definitely has that “designey” advert poster feel. The fact that they are static scenes from everyday life also adds to it I think, it wouldn’t be hard to stick a bottle of milk in the corner and flog it off as an ad but it wasn’t in the front of my mind when setting these out.   

What medium(s) are you working with for this show?

I’ve kept it pretty simple and dialled back, using and mixing between only Posca and micron pens of varying weights all onto a pretty heavy weight 300 GSM lightly grained archival stock.

Top 5 artists you’re into at the moment.

Marcus Dixon
Bill Connors
Sean Morris
Manjit Thapp

You're from Engadine but as long as I've known you, you've always spent a lot of time down Stanwell Park/Thirroul way, What were some of the experiences as an artist around this area?

Well unless you want a gym or some hot chips Engadine doesn’t have a whole lot going for it as far as leisure goes. Having a lot of my close mates and girlfriend down in Stanny also keeps me southside a lot of the time. As far as art goes though, the Coal Coast and lower suburbs have a good vibe that is pretty unique and hard to find elsewhere and it's starting to show with how many sick bands and artists are emerging from it. A lot of parties and hungover beach sessions can have an effect on what inspires you to draw or mentally take note of. Some weird stuff goes down haha! Keep it going, good times to roll on...

The Weird and the Mundane opens in our gallery Thursday, September 22, 6-8pm and runs through till October 12.