Interview Artist Freya Jones
Bailey says: “I visited her in her London studio, jammed with promise and works in progress (bold emotive charcoals and intensely pigmented geometric oils leaning against every wall) alongside clues to her inspirations and process. We studied each other, in the opposite of silence.
“She sketched and snapped me as studies for a portrait which now hangs in my studio, a favourite scarlet polka-dot Shrimps dress and Rapunzel blonde protection stripped back to a kind of sulky armour, a green-eyed dare to the distance. She painted how I felt, which is complicated!”
Jones says: “Putting charcoal to paper, or paint to canvas allows me to capture everyday moments of movement that help to reveal the circumstances and states of mind of other people and myself… at least that’s what I’d like to do… and sometimes I succeed. I like the gritty complication of not knowing what I will produce or how it will turn out in the end. I’m learning that getting it ‘wrong’, something I often do – is a good thing.”
She adds: “Whether it’s God or the Devil that’s in the detail, I don’t know; but I do know that in observing, recording and refining a subject, it is impossible to not connect with them. My greatest hope is that someone looking at my work could have that same experience.”
Bailey agrees that Jones has a deep connection to her subjects, a sensitivity beyond her years. “Her work evokes an atmosphere I am not qualified to explain,” she says, “except that our fangirl conversations circling heroes like Alice Neel and Paula Rego, make perfect sense in relation to her artistic exploration.
“She is an adventurer in life and art, absorbing and transforming her influences and relationships so that the mundane becomes mystical, physical evidence psychologically revelatory. Powerful yet intimate and subtly subversive, I am emotionally attached to the multidisciplinary work and her journey, from London to Manhattan and beyond, and proud to champion Freya Jones.”
While still studying at the New York Studio School in Manhattan, Jones scored a sell-out show of drawings at Alex Eagle’s Soho space, based on a collection of vintage furniture shown at 180 The Strand, London. She has also just finished one of her biggest paintings to date, a three-week life pose. She teases that there are more projects to come. Until then, she says, “I’m just trying to get better and push myself.”
About the champion
Laura Bailey’s creative endeavours span the worlds of art and fashion, film and sport, activism and philanthropy. A model, photographer and writer, Laura is also a contributing editor at British Vogue, and a dedicated ambassador for Save the Children.