Jaq Belcher is an Australian-born artist who currently lives and works in New York City with a Labradoodle named Nandi Sunbeam. She owns the White Line Studio in East Harlem and is very fond of Central Park. Jaq is known for her works on paper. She uses an Exact-o knife to cut beautiful and intricate designs inspired by repetition, contemplation, reduction. Her geometric and dynamic compositions pay homage to the power of concentration and meditation. Jaq recently discussed the experience of working as a professional #Artist and her most recent work, “An Inverception”. This is a site-specific installation currently on view at Heather Gaudio #Fine Art in New Canaan, Connecticut, through April 15th.

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Artwork

Blasting News (BN): How did you get into the arts initially?

Jaq Belcher (JB): Art was the only subject in high school that I was even slightly interested in, aside from biblical studies and English lit. I have three degrees that are all art focused. In 2001, I moved to NYC to solely focus on art and living from a place of creation.

BN: Did you always work only on paper?

JB: I started out working with metal early in my career, and then when I moved to New York I wanted to use the simplest of materials, to create using nothing. I wanted to eliminate the use of any medium, like paint, etc., and I started to think how I could do that with just paper. Paper is the simplest matter to manipulate. So, I started cutting out forms with an Exact-o knife; it was more about reducing than adding material.

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My work developed from there.

BN: How did you become associated with Heather Gaudio Fine Art?

JB: Heather contacted me and came for a studio visit. They showcased my work in a group exhibition a couple of years ago and now I am working on a site-specific installation in their gallery space.

Installation

BN: How did you secure this installation?

JB: I proposed the idea for the installation. I am interested in securing spaces where I can install geometries using the technique that is developing in my work and then removing them after they are complete and an image has been captured. The work engages and marks linear time while being created in and from a space of timelessness. This is my seventh such installation, the others I did were in different parts of the country.

BN: What does this installation represent and how long did it take to set up?

JB: The foundation is an eight-pointed star, which is highly loaded symbolically. The relationship between the suspended sheet of paper and the floor is one of the masculine and feminine energies coming together.

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The suspended sheet has over 10,000 cuts; the floor piece has 77,700 hand-cut paper seeds that I have collected over 16 years of my practice. Some were part of the other installations so you could say the seeds have traveled the country. This installation also has seeds from the suspended sheet above it. It took four days, but I worked on the suspended sheet and counting the 77,700 seeds for about 3-4 weeks prior to that.

BN: What do you hope people take away from seeing this installation?

JB: Curiosity. Inspiration.

BN: What are the best parts of being an artist and what else are you working on?

JB: Freedom. I have a solo show scheduled for early 2018 in Nashville and I am working on “an alphabet of form” and I attach an example of this that I made as an invitation for the exhibition. A laser cutting project and potential use of alternate materials that will allow an outdoor installation. #Interview