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    19th May 2024 art-admin

    A Discussion With The Artist – Jonathan Lawes

    Meet Artist Jonathan Lawes

    The Art Buyer chatted to print artist Jonathan Lawes. Lawes is an artist & designer based in south-east London, experimenting predominantly with silkscreen printing. Jonathan creates prints with a distinctly graphic edge, reflecting his love of geometry, shape, and pattern.

    Jonathan Lawes The Art Buyer

    – Tell us a bit about your journey to print-making

    After completing an Art Foundation at Arts University Bournemouth I went on to do a BA(Hons) in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds Arts University. It was here that my love of printing began, with big, open studios, full of all the necessary equipment. Over the 3 years I spent hours and hours down there, experimenting with ideas and printing onto all sorts of different fabrics and papers.

    – How does your creative process work?

    I usually have some rough idea of what I’d like to do, but over time I like to be able to change and adapt this. This freedom is really important to my process and is aided by a build-up of colour and layers. I see printing as my way of drawing and I really like that. Once it is printed, it’s done, and there’s no turning back. Sometimes it turns out how you want it to, sometimes it doesn’t, and other times it takes you in a completely new direction.

    – What inspires or draws you to a colour scheme or certain forms? 

    I almost have a memory bank of shapes that I like to use. These vary and adapt from time to time, but having done it for a while now, I know what works and what doesn’t. For me the colours are always the most important thing. Keeping your eyes open, searching for new palettes and interactions between colours is key to what I do. It’s a never ending job and comes naturally to me.

    – Your work experiments across different surfaces and textures, why is this and which do you enjoy most?

    I’ve always enjoyed working on a variety of surfaces. At uni it was predominantly fabric, but after that I ventured into working on paper and getting the best from that surface. It’s a great medium for creating flat, block colours. More recently I’ve experimented with both canvas and wood, making the most of their own unique textures and surfaces. It’s nice to blend things up a bit and show some texture within my work too.

    – What are the highlights of your career as an artist so far?

    I’ve had so many great opportunities come my way, so it’s hard to pinpoint one favourite. I’ve been lucky enough to exhibit in the UK, Germany, the USA, to name a few which have always been great moments. Collaborations with large companies like COS, The Conran Shop, and most recently with JosephJoseph have also been real highlights. It’s amazing to see how adaptable my work can be and I want to continue that.

    Jonathan Lawes The Art Buyer


    – First piece of art you bought?

    The first ‘proper’ piece of art I bought was a piece by the very talented Anna Mac. When I moved to London in 2018 it was the first thing we bought for our home, and we still treasure it just as much now.

    – Favourite Artist

    Too many to choose from! But here’s a few that roll off the top of my head – Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Henri Matisse, Eduardo Chillida, Joseph & Anne Albers, Corita Kent.

    – If you could own a piece of art, what would it be and why?

    Once again, the list is endless. But if I was pushed it’d probably have to be a massive Rothko painting.

    Image credit: David Sillitoe for the Guardian.


    View Jonathan Lawes’ collection at The Art Buyer gallery and consultancy.