Jasmine Brown-Rasé is a London based artist whose work centres around the human gaze. Jasmine explores the effect of the news on contemporary society, inspired by the role of the eyes as our primary tool for ingesting our surroundings and therefore the media. Incorporating constructivist and surrealist influences she creates claustrophobic landscapes that depict the overwhelming stream of daily information we must face in contemporary society.
We caught up with Jasmine to learn more about her practice and experience as an artist:
Hey Jasmine, we are big fans of your work! I am most interested in your focus on the human gaze, why is this so important to your practice?
Thank you so much! The human gaze can hold so much emotive information despite it being one of the smaller features of our face. Having constantly painted portraits in the past, I found that most of the emotions/feelings were being conveyed through the eyes. I started to omit the other features to create a more intense focal point and concentrate the emotive dialogue that I initiated with the audience.
What other themes do you explore in your art?
Mental Health and Identity are the two main themes that I explore. Starting dialogues around conversations that are shied away from is something I aim to do within my work. Also, I think it’s important to mention that I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive. One actively affects and influences the other and both are very important to me.
How would you define your practice?
I am still unsure on how or if I can definitively answer this, as I am still developing my art practice. But if I try I would say that it’s a visual diary of my emotions and surroundings, a preview of what otherwise cannot be seen by anyone but me. I aim for my paintings to cause the viewer to pause and think.
How is your practice developing? What direction is your work taking at the moment?
My practice will probably continue exploring mental health and identity as I don’t see myself exhausting these subjects anytime soon. I think that the aesthetics of my work will be different though. I have focused on painting ever since I graduated from sculpture in 2018. Now I want to merge the two disciplines to create pieces that better represent the dialogue that takes place in an individual's head, specifically mine. This added realism will help me create a more relatable space. Relatability and spreading awareness are two main attributes I aim for my pieces to have.
You studied in America, what was your experience at the University of California and how did it compare to arts education in the UK?
I went to study in America at an interesting time of extreme political and ideological change. So the conversations that were taking place were heavily centred around social politics and the notion of identity. It could become extremely heavy at times but I found the pure act of having these types of discussions to be very enriching and helped inspire my work greatly. I can confidently say that my work and my methodologies matured in the process. It made me realise that I wanted my work to have a social agency. So that is what I have been working on ever since. In my experience of studying art in the UK, there is trepidation and a shyness when it comes to discussing or addressing challenging/ sensitive topics. In my opinion, Art is the ideal place to promote and have these kinds of conversations as they usually initiate the most interesting exchanges.
What advice would you offer to those looking to begin their path in fine art?
The great thing about Fine Art, is that there isn’t one sole, straight, “correct” path that one has to follow to become successful. The paths are usually carved out by each individual artist and are brand new with hints of the past embedded into them in the form of inspiration. Each path is unique and is usually a tangle of loops, U-turns and bends. For me this is what makes it so exciting, that sense of discovery. However it can also be quite daunting and getting ‘lost’ is a common occurrence. So my main bit of advice is to trust the process and to have a strong sense of identity and integrity as an artist. These two qualities will help you navigate your way through the art world.