The text ‘Miles away from home, aeons from the finish line’ is rendered in white hand drawn print characters with rainbow watercolour highlights, against a backdrop of black pencil infill. Combining quotations with her own writing, Jade Montserrat refers to her watercolours and drawings as dissemination tools: ‘combined, the rainbow and the charcoal, graphite – the friction Miles away from home is prompting includes drawing-out ways of thinking about courage, exhaustion and unbelonging, endurance and becomings.’ Sometimes the words and fragments point towards a specific reference. In other cases they are brief traces of a conversation or an experience. Montserrat's words are inextricably linked to her ongoing exploration of building spaces of belonging and care.
In 2018, Montserrat was commissioned by Art on the Underground to produce a new design for the London tube map cover and a series of posters. These pencil and watercolour text pieces are similar to Miles away from home in addressing instances of injustice with a sense of urgency and poetry.
These drawings sit alongside other strands of her research-led practice, informed by the interplay of art and activism (Black Lives Matter; historical Abolition campaigns; Josephine Baker’s paxis), and the literary traditions of the Black Atlantic, produced in painting, film, performance, installation, sculpture, text and print.
Jade Montserrat (b. 1981) is a research-led artist and writer who studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2000–03) and Drawing at Norwich University of the Arts (2008–10). She is a Stuart Hall Foundation PhD Candidate at the Institute of Black Atlantic Research, The University of Central Lancashire (2017–20, ongoing). Montserrat works at the intersection of art and activism through drawing, painting, performance, film, installation, sculpture, print and text. The artist interrogates these media with the aim of exposing gaps in our visual and linguistic habits.
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