Eamonn James talkington
Have you ever looked at a piece of art that made you stop and think for just a moment? Did it make you emotional or vulnerable or did it make you feel at peace or uneasy? Art is supposed to make you feel. And Eammon James Talkington is doing just that with his work that isn’t just abstract, but rather a representation of abstract thoughts, ideas and feelings.
Eammon has used art and creation as a way to overcome addiction and is hoping his pieces can offer some kind peace, healing or emotion for viewers at DEVIATE. He’ll have pieces for viewing, for purchase and an interactive aspect for you to get involved if you wish. See and feel for yourself when you check out Eammon on September 16.
Can you tell us some information about your art? How would you describe it? I describe my art as emotive, not pure abstraction, but more representative of abstract thoughts, ideas, and feelings. It is my hope that each of my works will affect the tone of the room or the viewer. I hope that my work calms, intrigues, prickles at times, or causes the viewer to think and consider ideas outside of their usual way of thinking. It is created through a sort of organized chaos, improvised like jazz.
Where do you find the inspiration for your pieces? I find inspiration for my work in nature, through my own internal explorations, in my interactions with other people, and in the colors I find in cityscapes and nature. For instance, I might find inspiration in the blocks of paint that are applied to a light pole to cover up a bit of graffiti, or I might find color inspiration in the combinations of a certain flower or plant or bird. Tonality wise, I find inspiration in my own internal contemplations regarding mental health, the nature of reality, and the state of the world.
How long does it take for you to do a piece from start to finish? How do you make your pieces? Do you use any local materials? The time it takes me to create a piece varies wildly, I have paintings that have taken a month or more to create and others that I have created in less than an hour. I make my pieces starting with a strainer that I make from scratch using locally sourced lumber, I then stretch the canvas over the strainer and begin my painting process. For frames, I almost always use reclaimed and salvaged lumber. And I also build my own frames. For frames, I almost always know the history of the wood and it will almost always be again, sourced locally.
Is this your full-time job? If so, where do you work? What is your studio like? If not, what else do you do on the side? This is my full-time job. I have a 700 sq. ft. studio at 317 Art Collaborative in Downtown Rockford, IL. It is a space in a building that was opened in 1903 by the Rockford Illustrating Company. So, the building is a beautiful old building that has hosted artists since its inception.
What are your future goals for your art? My future goals for my art are to continue to explore various ways to affect the viewer and to question existing approaches to creative expression. I will continue to attempt to move people both outwardly and inwardly. With my paintings and wall hangings, it’s always been my goal to affect the tone of the room or the emotion of the viewer. With my installation work, it has always been to help the participant to reach inward and unlock new areas of vulnerability and help them reach to levels of honesty and peace. I do plan to continue to grow my audience and bring my work and this message to more and more people.
What are you most excited about for DEVIATE? Why should people come to DEVIATE? I think the thing I’m most excited about when it comes to DEVIATE, is the interactive aspect. Interactive installation work has had more and more of a draw for me over the past two years, and I’ve created more and more interactive installations as time goes on. So, I’m really looking forward to sharing the installation I’ve created for this event. Another thing is the level of creativity that the DEVIATE organizers have allowed to be a part of this event. So, if people are looking for creative work, whether to interact with, or to purchase and take home or hang in their offices, I think people are going to find something here. Or, if people are just looking for a party, it looks like DEVIATE will be a fun place to find as well!
Why should people come to check out YOUR booth at DEVIATE? As far as my personal booth goes, I will have an interactive exhibit that I am very excited to share with people. It’s a bit provocative and does include nudity, so it might not be for everyone!! But I think the people who attend this event will be able to handle it. The exhibit is interactive, and I will invite people to explore their own vulnerability in the same with that the exhibit displays a level of physical vulnerability. I don’t want to ruin it, so come and see me and find out what’s up! I am a painter, and I will have a bunch of my work available for viewing and purchase, all new work that very few people have seen. If you’re into the calming or the joyfully chaotic, I’ll have work you’ll appreciate.
What do you want us to know about your art, your design, or anything at all? My work is an exploration of what I call joyful chaos, ecstatic calm, and personal vulnerability. It’s my hope through my work that I will be able to affect the tone of the room in which it sits and the viewer who looks upon my work. Whether it’s a calming effect to a bedroom or the grounded empowerment that fits in a judge or lawyer’s office. I believe that my work can calm or jazz up the viewer and I do that through exploring my own inner world and finding what excites, challenges, or calms me. My paintings are created through a mildly experimental process of improvisation. Something like visual jazz. My paintings have been described as, “abstract,” but I don’t really care for that term. My work is not art for art’s sake as was true of the abstract expressionists, my work is representative work, representing abstract emotions, thoughts, and ideas. Installation work will always be to challenge the participant to look deep within themself and perhaps reveal a bit of themselves that they hadn’t really considered or looked at for a long time. It’s through this vulnerability and self-examination that I hope to help participants find at least a little bit of peace, or to, at the very least, start down that road. For many years, I struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism. A couple years ago, after 3 years in recovery, I thought, “How can I use installation-based artwork to help people find the internal honesty that I needed to recover from drugs and alcohol?” And I created my first installation, which was a great success and I’ve hoped to help people start themselves on the journey ever since using provocative imagery, words, and thought experiments. I’ve invited people to participate and maybe be just the tiniest bit vulnerable and open to possibilities.
What is your background? How did you get into art, did you go to school for it, etc. Give us a little history! I grew up in a creative home. My father is a very talented photographer, and my mother is incredibly skilled at drawing. I was encouraged to pursue music and film/video from a very young age, which I did, and I played music for most of my life. I have always dabbled in visual art, but I never took it serious as a pursuit until I was about 30 and I put aside the preconceived ideas I had about what a painting should be, and just started putting paint to canvas and experiment with materials and mediums. Hard to believe that was 10 years ago! I did go to Columbia College Chicago for a short time, but I think I learned more about doing art from surrounding myself with other artists and participating in events. About 4 years ago, I realized, almost through happenstance, that people would actually pay good money for my artwork, so I quit my job and began the pursuit of making a living with my artwork and it’s going pretty well!!