Miles away from home

Jade Montserrat (1981 - )

watercolour, coloured pencil on paper


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© Jade Monsterrat

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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection
    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.

    When asked about the work, Montserrat said ‘ is about emergence - the work is prompting courage from exhaustion, from unbelonging, relief from endurance, a sense of adventure, and the value of love that comes in the interim - living - and how we're always arriving, becoming…’

    This work formed part of Montserrat’s commission for the inaugural edition of Future Collect. Future Collect is a three-year programme funded by the Art Fund and Arts Council England and managed by the Institute of International Visual Arts, to support museums and galleries to commission artists of African and/or Asian descent, who are British-born or based in the UK. 

  • About the artist
    Jade Montserrat 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. Recent selected screenings, performances and presentations include: ‘Constellations: Care and Resistance’, Manchester Art Gallery (2020), as the first Future Collect commissioned artist funded by Art Fund and Arts Council England; ‘Instituting Care’, Humber Street Gallery (2019); and ‘Shadowing Josephine’ screenings at Arnolfini, and Spike Island, Bristol (2017). Montserrat works collaboratively with artist and performance collectives including Network 11, Press Room, the Conway Cohort and Rainbow Tribe: Affectionate Movement.
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  • Details
    Miles away from home
    watercolour, coloured pencil on paper
    height: 36.0 cm; width: 26 cm; depth: 3 cm
    Purchased from Iniva, with funds raised from print sales from the Robson Orr TenTen Award, a GAC/Outset Annual Commission, 2020
    Institute of International Visual Arts, London UK; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 28 March 2020
    GAC number