We are very happy to announce our recent partnership with mixed media artist and designer Joe Carter. Our collaborators share the values we hold here at TOMORROW, and Joe aligns himself closely with environmental issues through a utopian vision of our natural world. In a recent discussion with the artist, he states “In my ideal world, people wouldn’t look up at politicians and policymakers, they’d look towards each other”. Through his creative practice, Joe forefronts a collaborative ethos of working together to build a more sustainable future.
Joe draws upon interests in quantum mechanics, futurism and science fiction, as well as a diverse range of artistic, musical and cinematic influences. His cross media explorations range from oil, ink and watercolour based paintings to more sculptural forms. For the last twenty years he has worked within the bespoke design business in London. His art is inspired by the design principals in Tom Sachs’ sculptural forms and the contemporary iconography employed by Ryan Mcginnis.
In his first solo debut, ‘Paintings, Sculpture’s and Films on the Theme of Multiple Meanings in the Moment’ (2014), Joe re-purposed cheap software, household paint and other found objects and materials in order to grant them a new lease of life. Amongst the exhibited works was ‘Red Kids’, a digital print and mixed media piece which places the younger generation at the core of building a better society.
This optimistic narrative was aptly encompassed in his most recent exhibition ‘The Science Fiction Society’ (2018) which took place on Hackney Road. The show comprised of twenty pieces which fused together abstract colour layers and the primitive act of mark making. Under the tag line ‘Escape your future…’, the exhibition text read ‘everything is complicated and contradictory and it all is happening at once… Step sideways in thinking about what is the value of today’.
Joe’s most recent works delineate abstract naturalistic landscapes. Joe has been influenced by cinematic depictions of nature, amongst them being Nicolas Roeg’s ‘Walkabout’. Released in the ‘golden age’ of alternative cinema, the new wave production is set against the rural Australian outback with sun-kissed landscapes and spectacular sunsets. The ‘Body Improvement’ series, which will be presented in Joe’s forthcoming exhibition, features flower silhouettes repeatedly layered over stains of turquoise and pastel pink hues. The simple motif contains a heightened sense of innocence and idealism, signalling towards a utopia free from man’s encroachment of our natural world.
Is there a change in your work since society has become increasingly aware of the world around us?
My work has always been concerned with the world around us and the effect we have on it and it on us, but I think over the last few years where social issues have really come to the fore and environmental situations undeniably more intense and urgent I think my work has developed so it takes the group as a starting point rather than the individual. I think this shift in focus has been key in its development and I’m very happy with where it is going because of that.
Is there a message you aim to portray through your work, or feeling you want to provoke?
Examining, reflecting and expanding past and present social conditions gives us direct access to the values of the future and allows us the strange modern luxury of being able to conjure and be involved in these future values now. The world is complexed, contradictory and frustrating but it is the reaching out to understand that counts.
What are your biggest influences?
Its hard to overstate the influence of music and film on my work. The power of sound and image to work on us and change us along with the cyclical and fleeting nature of that relationship is something which i don’t think I will every fully grasp, but trying to is great fun.
What are you currently reading, listening to or watching that inspires your work?
I’ve just finished reading The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis which is excellent, Wes Baggaley’s show on Rinse is a good listen and Peter Strickland’s films are always a good watch. Joe is currently looking for the venue for his new show which has the working title of Body Improvement, details at www.joecarter.co
Explain your thoughts and process behind the Red Kids design.
The piece is always a favourite when exhibited. I think because it treads the line well between being prescriptive and open ended in its interpretation which as far as my practice goes makes it a very successful piece. When it came to this project it immediately jumped out as a perfect fit in relation to the cause it is aiming to promote and the context in which it is being used.
About Our Collaboration
Created in support of Refugee Action, an independent national charity founded that provides advice and support to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and campaigns for a fairer asylum system.
50% of proceeds shared and donated between Refugee Action and Joe Carter.