Jim Skull

6/8/12 – Artist Jim Skull: Everyday Materials applied to Contemporary appropriations of the Skull

While searching through the internet, I discovered the works of an artist / sculptor also known a Jim Skull who has created 3-dimensional installations from everyday materials, which are used to replicate the shape and the form of the human skull.

According to Jim Skull’s website, that artist enjoys travelling or exploring different location, which have inspired the installations or the 3 – dimensional works. Each skull features a different shape, colour, form and composition, which have effectively established an interesting collection of work.

The artist appears to have experimented with different materials, which also manipulate or modify the actual shape of the skull. Each installation features an abstract style, which may invite the audience to perceive the skull as a visual aesthetic through colour, form and texture.

The different materials or fabrics elongate the actual shape of the skull, which establishes a sense of texture and tactility. The installations also feature different patterns or designs, which portrays the skull as an artistic representation or a form of creative expression.

The artist’s work may have been photographed against a dark back drop, which may emphasise the shape of the design from each installation. Jim Skull has created unique perspective of the skull, which immediately captivates the viewer through the use of organic shapes and patterns, which fill the surrounding space.

The material drapes from jaw line of the skull onto the ground or the surface, which is projected through the dark shades and the undertones within the background. The different colours, shapes, patterns and designs may convince the audience to perceive each skull as a colourful or decorative subject.

The skulls also appear quite similar to sea urchins or other underwater creatures through the placement of the materials, which are attached from the mouth of the skull. The installations invite one the materiality of the skulls, which may initiate a composition between the natural environment and the urban culture.

Each skull may reflect the artist’s experiences with different environments, cultures or locations, which are exemplified through the choice of materials within each installation. Other may consider the materials quite bizarre or confronting, although the materials may reinvigorate a particular place or location that the artist has visited.

The dark background may provide a sense of alienation and at a first glance the viewer becomes transfixed with the shape of the skull, which is located within the centre of the image. There are some installations that are quite dark or sinister, although there are others which burst with vibrancy and colour.

Colour immediately gravitates the viewer’s gaze to the visual elements, which provides a sense of depth to each skull within the installation. On the other hand, the artist has intensified the shape or the structure of each skull within the photography through the use of black and white. Black and white also intensifies the light, tone and shadow, which provides each skull with a dark or a frightening appearance.

Does colour impact one’s own interpretation of the skull? In regards to Jim Skull’s work, the use of black and white may feature similarities to an actual human skull, which may resonate an association with death. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer, every culture has their own interpretations of death and the skull.

While black and white is commonly used for the skull within Western Popular culture, there could be other traditions, beliefs or values that may have a completely different response the subject of death.

Jim Skull’s collection offers a unique interpretation of the skull, which is transformed into a visual art form through the use of ordinary materials. Each installation features a different style or design, which may question the representation of the skull within contemporary art and popular culture.

Jim Skull Official Website, http://www.jim-skullgallery.com/ (Accessed 6/8/12)

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