jay heath sharp

  • Ceramics
  • Collage
  • Drawing
  • Fibre Arts
  • Fine art
  • Illustrations
  • Installations
  • Memoir
  • Mixed Media
  • Poetry
  • Screen Printing
  • Sculpture
  • Storytelling
  • Textiles

jay (they/them) is a process based interdisciplinary artist focused on ephemera and the turbulent dynamic between metaphysical and physical existence. their work is methodical but playful, always beginning with a question that has no expectation on what the answer might be. raised on a strong diet of Douglas Adams and Looney Toons, the edges of "question everything" often meet up with "nothing is impossible, it's just beyond your comprehension".

their favourite mediums are tedious and monotonous, getting lost in the process is a major part of the game for jay. printmaking, xerography, textiles, and ceramics are often featured in their work, where repetition is required and a slow mindfulness quite necessary. time to experiment, try to break things, push the material, see what happens if they just try this instead, oh but maybe see what this does, but they wonder what if- "what if" is both the process and where the meaning is found for jay. everything is done with a question in mind, a hypothesis maybe even forming, but nothing is known until everything has been examined, crushed, measured, destroyed, tried, and then eventually built again.

jay also is a quixotic weaver of words, often convoluted by nature, and has been experimenting with new forms of expressing them beyond just text. zines and comics have become of great interest, and jay has started to create memoir style comics of their life. they have plans to create several zines as well, touching on topics of gender, mental health, chronic illness, and abortion. previously jay has stuck to plain text only, writing open form poetry and essays that express moments of personal experiences throughout their life using poetic imagery and metaphor.

their new body of work, "i'm not really here", aims to explore the turmoil that comes with having to live inside a physical form. their whole life jay has seen their body as the enemy, simply a vessel that carries them around the world and yet causes them so much pain and anguish. as an autistic queer chronically ill mad person, jay has lived a constant struggle between the physical and metaphysical world. when society has so many programmed ideas of what people are meant to look like, who you are inside gets backed into a corner. what someone does when they feel trapped and unsafe is different for everyone, and that's one of the feelings jay seeks to explore.

the other main concept is shaped by benjamin's concept of mechanical reproduction, as jay intends to lean into the idea of where the "self" (in his case, the "art") exists. jay will use printmaking, xerography, and digital art along with other mixed materials, to explore the idea of where the self exists. if how we are perceived is part of who we are, then how many versions would you have to staple together to get the full picture? or, is what you feel inside the real self? who does the creating of the self, is it each individual, or is it the world around them that informs who they are? does curating our galleries of the self on apps give us the power back, or water down our self even further?


jay is a meandering assortment of lost trains of thought who attended schools with an assortment of letters (OCADU, HSAD, NSCADU) and came out the other side with no discernable direction other than a burning passion for methodical mediums. their time in the real world included an internship with Craft Ontario's Studio Magazine and a sweet moment as Managing Editor of Ornamentum Magazine, as well as an adventurous side quest managing a precariously busy tattoo studio.

jay has lived many places, but now finally feels at home in hamilton. while working away at these ideas in their tiny bedroom with their cat elvis, jay is currently applying for residencies and grants in hopes to get space to explore these ideas at their full potential. jay is also drawing and exploring more consumable art concepts to bring to art and zine fairs in the near future, as well as find community as an autistic queer chronically ill mad person.


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