ArtKeeper Checking Out: Jay Jermyn

ArtKeeper Checking Out: Jay Jermyn

​Checking-out of the ArtKeeper program is designer, artist, musician and sculptor – Jay Jermyn.

Setting to work creating a physical manifestation of the relationship between dance music and nature, finishing his five months at HOTA with seven completed, person-sized sculptures, we’re still wondering if Jay found time to sleep.

Seemingly always on the tools, Jay’s progress was swift, with concepts turning into experiments, and experiments turning into final works at seemingly lightspeed.

The fragility of Jay’s work is a standout feature. Delicately pieced together, visually reminiscent of natural elements and using lighting to create reflective dimensions to get lost in, it’s not surprising that Jay’s work captured the attention of the National Gallery of Victoria for their SELECT exhibition at Melbourne Design Fair.

Read on to hear about his experience at HOTA and the exciting moments still to come for Jay Jermyn.

#Checking Out with Jay Jermyn

You know the drill. 10 words or less – sum up the experience 

JJ: Damn! What a brilliant experience of art making and mentoring.


Talk us through how your project progressed during your time at HOTA. Did anything evolve or change from your original vision?  

JJ: In the first few weeks of being in the space I had completed my first prototype for the work I had intended to produce and, although I’m happy with that work, I knew right away it was but just a small component to a larger body. With guidance from Wesley Enoch, our mentor, and the HOTA Gallery curators, I began my research and development into the ritual of dance music and nature and how that can be materialised within my work. In the end, I produced a collection of 7 person-sized light sculptures and an assortment of wall-based experiments in design and sculpture.

Two of the sculptural works that you’ve created at HOTA will be exhibited as part of Melbourne Design Fair 2022. Tell us about that.

JJ: I have been pinching myself since Simone LeAmon, the curator of design and architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria, gave me a call and invited me to present work in the SELECT exhibition. And I can say for sure the residency here at HOTA has made creating those works possible in time for the exhibition.

To be included in the SELECT exhibition, alongside 35 of Australia's best contemporary collectible designers, is an invaluable experience and I feel very honoured to be alongside them. It also exposes my work to the collectors and galleries that I wouldn't normally have access to as an emerging artist and designer. Especially as it’s the inaugural Design Fair for Australia, which means it's also the beginning of the public further understanding the value of contemporary collectible design, the likes of which have been celebrated in global fairs like Design Miami that runs alongside Art Basel. I attended Design Miami in 2018 and thought, “this is it; this is the type of work I want to be producing”, and now I have that opportunity it’s a little bit of a dream come true.

Beyond being supported with the time and space to create, what other parts of the program, or working at HOTA, have been the most useful or interesting to you as an Artist? What effect did this have on you/your practice/process/project? 

JJ: I think one of the most valuable things outside the tangible nature of space, a wage and a budget for materials, was the conversations and feedback I was able to access from the curatorial and programming staff. It has really allowed me to peek behind the curtain of an art institution and see the professionalism that is required to be a successful artist. Wesley Enoch can't go unmentioned either, his openness to share his wealth of knowledge and ideas with us was an invaluable 

#Follow Jay Jermyn

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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.