Acclaimed artist, Jana Nicole has worked with Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, to create a brilliant, fascinating and touching, intimate personal portrait of the creative genius.
From the clubs, places, festivals and songs that have shaped his career to the memories, influences and aspirations, Norman reveals his own personal choices that mean the most and have been woven together in this dazzling piece of art by Jana Nicole.
We caught up with Jana Nicole ahead of her exclusive release with Enter Gallery on Friday 11th December.
What was it like working with Norman Cook on this print?
Perfection. I went in as a fan of his music. I came out with so much respect for this brilliant mind of his. He was such a pleasure to work with. Very open and honest. He couldn’t have been more accommodating. He truly is one of the nicest guys.
If you had to pick 1 favourite detail in the piece what would it be?
Ah, that’s a hard one as each image has a story a history a memory of something that was important or sentimental. It runs the gamut of emotions: there are milestones and so many personal moments, some that are very private yet we can all relate to. For example, Glastonbury. A very spiritual and bonding time for myself and anyone who was there. I suppose one of my favourites is the record box with all the stickers. Who doesn’t have or loves a sticker? So many moments with layer upon layer of personal history: reminiscent of my collage work as a whole but in miniature. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to it? I also love Norman’s shirt. I’ve snuck some of his favourite patterns into the shirt from a collection of his DJ shirts combined.
How long did it take to make?
Each portrait can take from weeks to months depending upon the availability of the subject. I was very lucky as Norman made time for me and the lockdown helped. How bittersweet this lockdown has proved!
You tend to create your art as part of a series of work, from your Botanical Troupe series to your Circus prints and Animal Attraction series. Is the Norman print part of a new series?
I originally didn't start out to create a limited series of works, but it felt like certain chapters closed off much like a book. It needed a beginning and an ending. The portraits are very much a series. When it will end, I’m not sure. But in the meantime, I’m learning so much about the people I’m working with, that I don’t want it to end.
How have you been finding life as an artist in 2020? Tell us what a typical day is like for you?
It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. I’ve always wanted to work uninterrupted. At a slower pace, not the frantic speed that I feel I’m constantly at. Now that I’m able too, it’s bittersweet.
Are there any other mediums or styles of art you want to try?
As you are aware from all my series, I work with a lot of mediums. I have no boundaries of what I will and won’t work with. I’m always experimenting. That’s how I ended up doing portraits for this new series. I wanted to experience it. It was only myself holding me back for so long.
Do you have any more collaborations or projects lined up?
Absolutely! But I’m under confidentiality so you’ll have to wait and see...
You made a huge ‘art-attack’ style artwork during lockdown. Do you plan on making any more large-scale artworks?
I hope so. Again, Lockdown gave me such a wonderful opportunity to finally create a large scale seasonal piece. It’s something that I had been really wanting to do but had never believed I could justify taking the time. But with lockdown, something in my head just said 'go for it'. I have other large scale plans, just have to figure when and where.
What is your favourite thing about Enter Gallery?
I like that fact that the gallery supports Brighton and local artists. Living out in Sussex it’s great to have Enter Gallery on our doorstep.
Why do you think it is important to have art in a home and what do you think your artwork adds to a space?
Without art in the home it wouldn’t be a home. I have a friend who’s a writer, and she has just finished remodelling her kitchen. The wood that she sourced is from a beautiful old oak tree. And she has gathered hand made pottery cups and bowls that sit on these oak shelves with this beautiful brick wall behind. It looks like a piece of art. It is so inviting. Next to it, she has a beautiful large landscape original art work that creates such an amazing feeling to the space. I look forward to seeing it every time I go over. It’s like visiting an old friend. So art doesn’t just add to the space, its part of the space. One that can be moved and shifted, creating an emotion.
I feel with my artwork it draws you in. It creates a conversation, it brings life to a space it also is something you can look at and each time discover something new about it. It’s so multi layered that it can surprise you. And hopefully, you can walk away with a little smile on your face......
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The first five copies sold will be signed by Norman Cook himself!