Spotlight

Interview Artist Freya Jones

Championed by Laura Bailey
The Wick - Freya Jones
Above  Freya Jones
ONES TO
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ONES TO
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The Wick - Freya Jones
Above  Freya Jones
Interview
Freya Jones
14 September 2022
Interview
Freya Jones
14 September 2022
Model, photographer and contributing editor at British Vogue, Laura Bailey has watched Freya Jones grow up – ‘a ray of sunshine in any room, embodying cool empathetic grace and curiosity, qualities now evident in her art.’ A couple of years ago, their paths crossed again.

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.”
For Jones, creating art – in any of its forms – is central to how we understand ourselves and the other people we share the planet with. Her work is inspired by the observation of how people choose to live their life, from what they eat for breakfast to how they’ve buttoned their shirt.

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

The Wick - Laura Bailey

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.

“[Freya] is an adventurer in life and art, absorbing and transforming her influences and relationships so that the mundane becomes mystical.”

Place of Birth

London, UK

Education

I attended the Royal Drawing School in London and am currently studying at the New York Studio School in Manhattan.

Advice

I’d say the most important thing to do as an artist is try and be authentic to yourself. If what you’re doing doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Instinct is a powerful thing and it’s what will make your work unique

Spiritual guides, Mentors

I wouldn’t say I was a spiritual person but I’ve learnt to listen to my body and my mind. When I’m sad I feel sad, I don’t try and fight it. I think it’s good to accept what your mind’s telling you, sit with it and feel it out.

My mentors are without a doubt my parents. They are both incredible people who always give the best advice, and they’ve taught me the importance of laughter and to never take yourself too seriously.


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