Will Jennings is an artist who came to talk us through the process of how he created an art project from an initial germ of an idea, something as students we can most definitely identify with. The creative process is sometimes an unclear path filled with diversions and pitfalls and the artist, in trying to tease from the jumble of ideas a clear, concise and meaningful piece of work, faces many frustrations.
Will Jennings source of inspiration started of all things with concrete blocks. The blocks were part of a World War 2 sea defence and created rows of straight lines along the beach.
This in an indeterminate way led to Alfred Watkins book called ‘The Old Straight Track’ and the discovery of Watkin’s Ley lines. These lines link up features on a map such as villages, boulders, woods and pathways and Watkins named them Ley Lines due to the number of villages on his straight lines ending in the letters L E Y.
Throughout Jenning’s engaging talk and his fascinating study of the Ley Line theory and peoples interpretation of the subject his enthusiasm for his art shone through. Engaging his father in his exploration of the subject was also interesting and I was left wondering what his father thought of his son’s art project.
Will taught me that some ideas take a journey of their own and that being aware of such a possibility is a good thing. In going with the idea instead of trying to force the it into a preconceived structure, Will became as much of a participant as his father, and the project gained a greater depth and meaning. He concluded the project with a book, inviting writers to submit a piece of work on Ley Lines, seeking others perspectives and comparing it to his own art piece. He signed my copy of the book but ever the humble man, suggested I seek out all the authors of the written pieces and ask them to sign the book as well.
I look forward to seeing his next art piece and hearing more of Will Jennings. A very enjoyable presentation.