Adrian Jeans uses an expanded approach to portraiture to look at the complex, multi-layered ways in which we use our bodies to communicate perceptions of ourselves.
Incorporating a strong awareness of the sculpture-making process, Jeans’ portraits, with their rough, striated textures and cubist-like surfaces, instantly engage as viscerally worked objects. The sense of material and of the artist’s hand overlays Jeans’ fidelity to the sitter’s physiognomy, raising questions about identity and the self from within the framework of the artist-model relationship; questioning who and what is being portrayed and how. When combined with the sculptor’s ability to make multiple casts, this gives Jeans a singularly unusual position from which to explore ideas about social, interactive humanity.
From personal experiences and observations to news items and ancient history, Jeans’ works have diverse influences and inspirations. In Nice Head, in which he places a sign saying IC HEAD next to a neighbour’s portrait, he combined graffiti with newspaper language protocol to riff on his neighbour’s expletive-ladened greetings to play with the idea of the portrait as both object (IC HEAD could mean Nice Head) and character assessment (IC HEAD could also mean Dick Head).
In An Allegory of Death & Destruction and An Allegory of LIfe & Creation Jeans portrayed Liverpool model Sue Lee sitting on debris scavenged from buildings demolished in his Liverpool neighbourhood. Using the symbolic opposites of dark & light and gun & branch he turned two casts of this portrait of a specific person and a specific place into opposing allegorical works that reflect, on a more general level, the diverse feelings towards an historic city’s regeneration.
Jeans’ art practice is rooted within the portrait sculpture tradition and exists at the point where art production, art theory and cultural values merge. Using visual and written languages that range from local vernacular speech to canonic symbolism, he explores the complex and loaded nature of portraiture and the way it throws a very particular light upon ideas of craft and art, individualism and universality, and culture and identity.
|1997-2001:||Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow|
BA(Hons) Fine Art Sculpture
Selected Artistic Experience
|2017:||Time & Space Residency at Metal – Liverpool to expand the Art In Windows concept.|
|2016 – ongoing:||Founder-Director of Art In Windows, an organisation that works with artists and landlords to commission, install and maintain art in empty windows in and around Liverpool. www.artinwindows.org|
|2014:||Portraits: Processes, Pedestals & Performances. Artist talk given at The College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi, Ghana.|
|2013:||The Craft of Art. Lecture about The Craft of Art project at The College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi, Ghana.|
|2012:||The Craft of Art. Talk about Victorian art practices, presented at The Future Station, Metal, Liverpool.|
|2010 – 2012:||Residency at Metal, Liverpool to realise The Craft of Art project.|
|2009 – 2015:||Co-director of Film Station, a community cinema at Metal – Edgehill Station that screened films by local, independent film-makers.|
|2006:||Proposed and organised lecture by Professor Richmond Ackam on African-American Art and the Legacies of the Slave Trade as part of the Research Seminar Series, Michaelmas 2006 at the University of Cambridge|
|2006:||Exploring The Proverbial: The Effects of Proverbs And Idioms On A Cultural Intruder. Paper presented at Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi. Ghana.|
|2001 – 2003:||Lecturing Assistant, Department of Painting & Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi, Ghana.|
|2001:||Studio assistant / technician for artist David Shrigley.|
|2020:||SPS FACE2020. Open submission group show. Online.|
|2019:||Four Faces Of Religion. Group show. Threshold Festival. Church of St Michael in the City, Upper Pitt St, Liverpool, L1 5BD, U.K.|
|2018:||Back From The Dead. Solo show. Art In Windows. 57-61 Regent Road, Liverpool, L5 9SY, U.K.|
|2018:||Nice Head / Back From The Dead. Solo show. Art In Windows. 5 Bold Place, Liverpool, L1 9ND, U.K. Supported by Frenson|
|2017:||Gestures & Friend/Foe. Solo show inaugurating Art In Windows. 5 Bold Place, Liverpool, L1 9ND, U.K. Supported by Frenson|
|2014:||The Craft of Art. Solo show as part of Liverpool Biennial Independents 2014 at Metquarter, 35 Whitechapel, Liverpool, L1 6DA, U.K.|
|2014:||Nice Heads. Solo show as part of Liverpool Biennial Independents 2014 at 42 Nelson Street, Liverpool, U.K.|
|2012:||Applied Meaning: An Allegory of Death & Destruction and An Allegory Of Life & Creation. Solo show as part of Liverpool Biennial Independents 2012 at 42 Nelson Street, Liverpool, U.K. Supported by Frenson.|
|2012:||The Craft Of Art. Solo show at Metal Culture, Liverpool, U.K. With collaboration from photographer Alan Mckernan. Supported by Metal and Lovell.|
|2010:||The Moulding: Solo performance at Metal, Liverpool, U.K. as part of Future Station Festival.|
|2005 – 2006:||Crossing Sights. Two-man show exhibited at: |
The British Museum, London, U.K.
The National Museum, Accra, Ghana
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.
Merseyside Caribbean Community Centre, Liverpool, U.K.
QI Building, Oxford, U.K.
Supported by British Council, Ghana; The Professional Painters Organisation, Ghana; Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, Ghana; Liverpool Charity for Voluntary Services (BRM Steering Group), Liverpool; and numerous private individuals.
|2002:||Drawing in the Proverbial. Solo show of drawings made in Ghana exhibited at The West Africa Studies Center, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and at The British Council, Accra, Ghana. Supported by The British Council, Ghana.|
Competitions, Grants & Awards
|2020:||FACE2020. Finalist. SPS FACE2020 open exhibition.|
|2010-2012:||Residency at Metal, Liverpool, U.K.|
|2005-2006:||British Council Ghana Exhibition Grant (For Crossing Sights exhibition in Ghana and UK.) |
Ghana Museums and Monuments Board Grant (For Crossing Sights exhibition in Ghana and UK.)
Liverpool Charity for Voluntary Services (BRM Steering Group) Award (For Crossing Sights exhibition in Ghana and UK.)
|2004:||English Arts Council Grant (For 10+1 exhibition at Wimpole Hall Art Gallery, Cambridgeshire.)|
|2002:||British Council Ghana Exhibition Grant (For Drawing in the Proverbial exhibitions at The West Africa Studies Center, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; and at The British Council, Accra, Ghana.)|