Artist in Focus: Jem McCluskey - Reflexeye: An Artistic Evolution Beyond Boundaries

Introduction

Jem McCluskey, or Reflexeye, is a visual artist who uses cameras to create still and moving images from the ground, and from the air using unmanned aerial systems. Jem started out as an engineering executive with various big consultants and a driver of new approaches in the environmental/transport sector. But Jem felt he wasn’t making the difference he wanted to, so decided to move on, and what better way than to engage in something he has always enjoyed (indeed loved!) : using a camera, capturing images and film footage, and thinking ‘art’ in all its forms.

Artistic Journey

Although Jem was essentially a scientist at school, he also took art and architecture A-level and got his first SLR for his eighteenth birthday – a Yashica. He had a great teacher, Frank Grimstone, who was truly open minded and very positive about every pupil going in any artistic direction they chose. Despite this, he distinctly remembers having an exhibition piece taken down by the head teacher because it was seen as obscene, even though the painting was abstract. He was outraged by that, as was his art teacher, and it set in motion a life-long rejection of censorship and the development of very eclectic and critical appreciation of art forms.

His inspirations, which cross over into much of his life, are as broad as his tastes and include the great, classic photographers and today’s shining lights be that Arbus, Walker, Eggleston, Peter Lindbergh or Salgado. Jem calls out McCullin as a particular hero!  Art movement-wise, Jem’s a huge fan of impressionism, post impressionism and the Dada movement.. His favourite artists are too many to mention but when we talked with Jem, Robert Rauschenberg and Cornelia Parker came immediately to mind. Frank Gehry is his architecture hero.

Historically, in a nutshell, Jem ended up using everything from oils, to lino and inks, to mixed media, to 3D using Plaster-of-Paris and wood. Nevertheless, he ended up as a career Engineer, somewhat due to the normal pressures of life, but art never went away. He’s still looking for the space which will allow full commitment and he’s always open to collaborations, too!

Featured Artwork

As a nod to Caravaggio, Jem hugely enjoyed constructing what proved to be at the time, his most ambitious ‘still life’. You can read about it in the Featured Art section of his gallery on LettsArt. The greatest challenge was to light the work in such a way as to mimic a room full of light rather than the left-lit original. He’s used overlay textures in Photoshop in order to mimic the feel of an oil on canvas. Worth checking out!

He’s also working on a series of fruit-based allusions – ‘Spindizzy Fruit’.  A clever collection founded on the concept of energy states. Suffice to say, he’d like to thank James Blish, a great influence in his life, for his inspirational ideas and the word spindizzy. If you’re intrigued to find out more, read this Wikipedia article for an explanation. It’s all about gravity manipulation!

Going forward, Jem doesn’t want to be limited by 2D art with lots going on creatively at the planning stage around 3D, VR, poetry, writing, blogging, political commentary, even performance.

Connect with the Artist

Jem represents a fascinating blend of scientific precision and artistic exploration. His work not only reflects his technical background and love for classical and contemporary art influences but also projects a bold vision for the future of art that includes digital and three-dimensional spaces. To experience the full spectrum of his creativity, visit his LettsArt gallery and engage directly with the unfolding chapters of his artistic journey.

To find out more, visit Jem’s gallery on LettsArt at https://reflexeye.lettsart.com/.

LettsArt is the home for great art.
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