Artist Spotlight #60: John Blines

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 1.29.18 amTrepidation

Creating art with a scientific focus is John Blines’ way of giving back to the science and medical community after his cancer diagnosis in 2005. In our latest spotlight, John talks about his art and the Japanese composer and visual artist who inspires him.

Q: Hello John! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I am an emerging artist. I was fortunate to be appointed the 2015 inaugural Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) SALA artist-in-residence. During the residency, I worked with a team of cancer researchers within the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) and facilitated a book art project with cancer patients within the Flinders Infusion Suite. I have recently been appointed the RSL-SA’s Arts Ambassador. The focus of this role is to engage with returned service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and to assist them to find ways of coping with their psychological disorders.

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Untitled (it and me)

Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

A: A major influence on my work is my 2005 cancer diagnosis and subsequent psychological condition of chronic adjustment disorder with anxiety. The people who inspire me are the scientists, medical staff and patients, and my FMC Arts-in-Health co-workers.

Q: Do you have a preferred medium?

A: No… though paper is prominent within my practice. My least preferred medium is painting.

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Q: How would you describe your style?

A: This is a difficult question: it’s not something that I think about; I associate style with fashion and fashion doesn’t concern me.

Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?

A: I am largely process driven. I collect information, usually starting with words and text. In my most recent work, the process has been writing, drawing, erasing and photographing each stage to document the process. This process has blurred the boundary between my research and the production of work.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 1.35.05 amAmaranthine 4

Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

A: I hope to still be at FCIC. I am hoping to receive funding this year for a project working with a psychologist and a genetic scientist investigating the nexus between epigenetics (i.e. the impact the environment has on gene expression) and the psychological impact of cancer.

Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?

A: This is another difficult question… I am very interested in the work of Japanese sound artist, Ryoji Ikeda, after seeing a performance of his work, superposition, in the 2015 OzAsia Festival. This work is an assault on the senses: an experience. Utilising physics and systems theory, superposition employs both visual and auditory information. Ryoji Ikeda’s work is thought-provoking and I intend to use genetic data for future work.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 3.01.01 amResonance: Displaced 1.01. Photo credit: Che Chorley

Q: What is your favourite gallery?

A: What is there not to like about MONA… and I am hopeful that Nick Mitzevich’s proposed Contemporary Art Gallery will surpass MONA. How great would that be for Adelaide!

Q: Where can we find more of your work?

A: The work resulting from my 2016 residency at FCIC is currently on display in the Promenade Gallery B, Level 2, Flinders Medical Centre. This Fringe exhibition is on until Sunday, 19 March 2017. I also have Instagram.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 3.28.04 amUntitled (knowledge)

Q: When were you last filled with rage?

A: Lawbreakers: anarchy is not a solution.

– Masya Zabidi

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