Jonni Cheatwood, It Won’t Bring Elliott Smith Back, 2017, Oil, Acylic and Enamel on Found Bag © Jonni Cheatwood, Courtesy of BEERS, London
Could you explain this work?
I picked up this love for old grain and flour sacks with advertising from smaller American towns. I had the idea to sew these sacks in with my large canvas paintings in order to attempt to give worth to a bag or sack that once held something of worth, like flour, rice or whatever it may be. I fell in love with this particular bag, bought it on eBay, but didn’t realise that it was a paper bag. I didn’t really know what to do with it, so it just sat around my studio to pick up some debris, then luckily I was invited to do a "works on paper" show and got to put the bag to use, finally.
What does this piece deal with?
For me this piece deals with age and a story beyond me. I don’t know when this bag was made, I don’t know what Princeton, North Carolina is like either. So, I see it as two or more stories coming together. I love found objects, repurposing objects and I love the ageing process all the same.
What medium and techniques did you use?
Oil, stick and acrylic for the main colours, and then enamel for the mark making.
What were the struggles of making it?
This is the smallest work that I’ve ever made. I use a lot of large gestural movements in my work, so I had to restrict those movements onto a very small piece of paper. Sounds odd, but having to condense is very hard for me, so I tried to not overthink it.
What is the purpose behind this work?
I wanted to use but hide some of the advertising on the bag and give it some more appeal. Honestly, I just wanted to make something badass for my first gig in the UK.