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Rated: E · Essay · Arts · #1996423
A bio of a favorite artist who I had the pleasure of interviewing.
There is in our town a temporary space for showing art. It is at the former location of Adivasi, and among the artists whose work is displayed is Jonquil Clouet.

It was over two years ago now, when tropical storm Irene descended upon our state. It brought with it one of the worst floods in an entire century. The flooding of Flat St. made for a major setback to the owners of a now closed Indian goods emporium. The art show that is in that space now will hopefully serve as a step towards recovery.

There is among the array of work at the former Adivasi space, a somewhat surrealist selection of pen and ink drawings. These pieces show a talent of blending creativity and imagery. Jonquil, who created this work sat down with me to chat about her artwork and inspiration. She provided herself to be a modest yet intriguing subject for this week’s column.

Jonquil does artwork that she describes as realistic scenes “tweeked” to illustrate her imagination. One of her pieces at the old Adivasi space was a picture of a skyscraper with a monster perched on the side of it. The monster image was created with such detail and precision that I wondered if it was a cut out. It truly stood out among other great works of art that enliven space once left behind.

Jonquil says that monsters, babes, and insects are a theme in her work, because they are aesthetically interesting.

I asked this young artist about how she learned to create and of her creative process. I asked her where she finds inspiration to be an artist. I was almost remised when she explained to me that art was the only thing she cared to be good at. Jonquil also explained to me that her learning in art is not so much formal, as it is from dedication and observation. She is inspired by her friends and our community to continue to create.

There are a few well known artists who have most influenced Jonquil. They include Bruegel The Elder, Dave McKean, and Egon Schiele.

The imagery that Jonquil comes up with for her work is not defined before she begins a piece. She told me that her process of creating a piece often comes out of blindly drawing lines. She describes this is an improvisational creative process, from which her imagination manifests in illustrations. Her explanation of this process is that it is subconscious work, for which she tries to find a groove.

The same storm that indirectly led to the closing of the Adivasi store brought me here to Brattleboro. Now, in the recovery process an art gallery is showing the work of a slew of talented artists. I’m glad that I have been able to interview one of these artists for this column. I’m glad it was Jonquil, as she brings to this community a radiance that I find warming and casual. There is in this town a creative energy that has its roots in individuality and funk, these qualities are seen clearly in Jonquil and her art.

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