TABULATED – Jay Euesden – Book

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‘Tabulated’ presents the drawings, watercolours and paintings of Jay Euesden. Jay is collector: he likes to collect and collate images of objects. Irons, grand buildings, and musical instruments: its all a fascination to Jay.

TABULATED

JAY EUESDEN

‘Tabulated’ presents the drawings, watercolours and paintings of Jay Euesden. Jay is collector: he likes to collect and collate images of objects. Irons, grand buildings, and musical instruments: its all a fascination to Jay.

It would be easy to frame Jay as an outsider artist, supported as he is by Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme, but actually the work itself is that of artist with a keen, characterful and mainstream eye.

ESSAY: THE CULTURE THINKER

PHILIP BROPHY 

A recent life-style trend in Japan is called ‘minimalist living’. It’s where someone lives in a very small apartment (even though all apartments in Japan are small) with very few things. Like, hardly anything. They only have about 3 outfits to wear­ – black pants and jackets; white shirts and T-shirts; they have no furniture – they sit on the tatami mat flooring; they only have enough plates for one meal; they only have the book they are currently reading.

My place is crowded with thousands of records, books, magazines, DVDs; my walls are covered with movie posters. The stuff I love is all around me, always within reach in a split second. And there’s heaps of things I collect. Not objects of a sort, but records and books by people whose stuff I really like. Serious people frown upon collectors: they accuse them of not being able to make a decision about what is the best object out of a set of objects. But I like sets of objects; I like it when there are multiples of the same thing, because I like the small differences. When you look at things closely, there’s a world of amazing differences between things.

Jay’s ink drawings and paintings are of sets of things – he refers to them as ‘tabulations’. They’re wild! The Dog Series No.1–6 depicts 6 animals that feel doggy more than they look like dogs. They are like diagrams of difference, allowing us to see these amazing differences in dogs. They are all categorised by the same word ‘dog’, but dogs can look like anything – from a poodle to a greyhound. There’s nothing the same about any two dogs, and Jay’s drawings are fantastic celebrations of these differences. They don’t look like dogs, but the series claims that despite that, each one of them is a dog.

Then there’s Sea Shells In Ink Series No.1–30. Looking at these incredible squiggles, patterns and hieroglyphic shapes, I’m reminded of being at the beach with a million shells at my feet. Jay’s linework makes me feel like I’ve been shrunk to the size of a pebble, and I’m walking around, seeing these amazing sculptures. I hope I’m not squashing anyone when I walk on the sand at the beach next time.

Of course, we all know that nature is infinite, ever-changing, and capable of producing things beyond our human imagination. That’s why so many artists draw landscapes, paint sunsets, and sketch the ocean. I’m sure Jay does this like most artists – but he also draws irons. Lots of them. Irons In Ink Series No.1–18 features a wide range of irons – or maybe it’s the one iron drawn 18 different ways. Is this what it’s like to be an iron? Everyone thinks it looks like a dumb tool for cleaning your shirts, but maybe irons have a life of their own. Maybe we know nothing of irons. Jay’s drawings make me think so.

Being in The Amplified Elephants, Jay must love making music and noise. He certainly looks like he’s having fun when he plays on stage. Maybe that’s what he captures in his drawings of musical instruments. Accordions In Ink Series No.1–18 is similar to Irons In Ink Series No.1–18, because it might be one accordion or many accordions. While the iron sits still like a heavy metal object, accordions are alive. They breathe, they dance, they curl up, they expand. They’re weird objects for sure, and Jay draws them like they come from another planet. Saxophones – like irons – don’t bend or move about. But they too are weird objects, collected in Saxophones In Ink Series No.1–4. All those buttons and tiny levers. Jay draws them like there’s a secret to how they work together to produce a distinctive sound.

Guitars, Sitars & Lutes In Ink Series No.1–22 features a whole range of different string instruments. I feel like I’m in a music store, looking at them all on the wall. Jay draws each one differently. Like seashells, each guitar is a unique being. That’s why guitarists are very picky about the sound they want to get from their guitar. It’s also why there’s always guitarists making noise in the music store. Imagine if 22 people were playing them all at once? Hey, that’s what The Amplified Elephants sounds like! Go maximal, Jay!

JAY EUESEN BIOGRAPHY

visual artist / sound artist

Jay is a visual artist and a sound artist who emerged into the visual art and music sectors through the vehicle of community arts. He was trained in visual arts at Footscray Community Arts, where he often exhibited and performed in a range of projects.

Later, Jay’s career was supported by JOLT Arts and Hullick Studios, who published his first book of art works, and who took over management of The Amplified Elephants in 2019 – a sonic art ensemble Jay performs with.

Both sonically and visually, Jay’s practice is focused on minimalist patterns, usually realising these ideas sonically through synthesisers and visually through multiple drawings of collected objects.

A large percentage of Jay’s creative practice is dedicated to The Amplified Elephants. Jay is a founding member of the ensemble, having performed in nearly all The Amplified Elephants’ projects since 2007. A career highlight for Jay was the show THE NIS (2009, 2013), which involved performing on robotic music instruments and in collaboration with the BOLT Ensemble (a chamber orchestra). In that show, Jay performed solo synthesiser sequences against an orchestral backdrop. 

In 2015, Jay toured to the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music to perform SELECT NATURALIS, a show featuring the Duckworth Hullick Duo’s Resonance Table touch screen musical interface. The show was again presented in 2018 at RMIT University. Earlier in 2018 Jay performed SELF SEEKERS for the Festival of Live Art and then remounted the work at Footscray Community Arts in 2019. 

The Amplified Elephants have released two albums: the Howling Sound (2012) and Deep Creatures (2021). The ensemble has toured internationally.

Jay is also a member of the Sonic Adventurers Collective initiated in 2019 through JOLT Arts.

Recently, Jay’s mentors have included visual artist Alister Karl and the CEO & Artistic Director of JOLT Arts, sound artist James Hullick.

Pages: 92 including front and back cover

No. Images: 117

         

Additional information

Book Format

Print Edition plus eBook Edition, eBook Edition only