FAULT Magazine catches up with Jessica Jane Barlow. A young and talented graphic designer who graduated from CSM.
FAULT: Let’s start easy. Where are you from Jessica?
I was born in Hong Kong but my parents are from New Zealand/Singapore… & I have an American accent. I also call London home now and have done since I moved here in 2005. Quite a mouthful huh?
FAULT: Where do you live now?
At my childhood home in Hong Kong, currently sitting comfortably, cat in lap, enjoying my first holiday since graduating this summer! It’s been a welcome break as I’ve kept myself busy since then with a couple internships, exhibitions and a collaboration with Converse.
FAULT: What are you working on at the minute?
I’m expanding on projects I felt were never ‘complete,’ & creating retail opportunities with them. I’m also going back to my drawing roots that I abandoned years ago!
FAULT: What is your cancer project about?
The cancer project was a huge undertaking; its starting point was very personal, as I’ve had quite a few people in my life die of cancer. Initially I saw cancer as a huge question mark, I had never taken the time to understand it, & so I was looking for a way to explain it. I found there was no way to encapsulate the fear, the truth and the heartache in one neat package.
FAULT: What is in the book(s)?
I created 13 books which each have one cancer-related subject matter they singularly portray (for example on a cellular level to sensational newspapers/tabloids or the reality of funeral arranging) The books were pieced together through copious amounts of research & collecting material to illustrate & aesthetically summarise each topic.
FAULT: Does it relate to cancer as medecine or is it more personal?
It comes at cancer from all sides of the spectrum, the medical, personal, public & private. At the end of the project, I was honestly emotionally shaken & I chose to use the ‘does not equal’ (≠) sign to signify the lack of closure I received from my attempt to explain cancer.
FAULT: Why do you say teeth are artefact of our society?
Frankly I think teeth are underrated, they hold so much societal value & are fascinating. Teeth are extremely culturally significant – both in the past and especially now when you just have to look at the shade of Simon Cowell’s teeth to see what I mean. I’m actually working on a creating more teeth-related work at the moment as I have a growing collection of dental paraphernalia, dentures & false teeth.
FAULT: Research seems a very long part of all your projects, could you tell me more about research please?
I’ve always found myself fixated once I start a project, I just want to read and collect & immerse myself in it until I find what I’m looking for & I can start creating. It’s this process of problem solving that I find works for me.
I really like your book ‘ Love From Jessica Jane ‘, what is the idea behind it ?
‘Love From Jessica Jane’ is a hand-made silk-screen printed A3 book. It’s basically a tongue-in-cheek letter to my parents telling them unknown naughty stories of my childhood. I was inspired by endless dinner table conversations about my sister’s antics as a child, they had less to say about me – so I fixed that!
Interview by: Amandine Paulandre