Jack Chadwick

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Bio: Ex Wellingtonian.  St Kilderite since ’90.  Likes art and voluntary work.

Original Artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015
Original Artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015

For a nano second
The cresting wave
Is
At peace

The Happy Accident 

I got into art and journaling after I broke my clavicle.  My physio ran out and I couldn’t afford more so I thought I’d get a book out of the library about tying knots to use my arm.  But I wanted something I could look at rather than a knot you tie then untie again.  So I bluetacked a bit of paper to the wall and tried to draw with my injured arm.  It was great physio and the marks were child-like, it was something I found therapeutic.

Journals of Jack Chadwick.
Journals of Jack Chadwick.

It got me into doing art – nocturnal seascapes, the light systems from light houses and how that looks on the water.  I started looking at the impressionists.  I realised it was about capturing the sensation that you were feeling.  I needed some paper and didn’t have any money.  I found an old A4 daily diary with dates in a skip.  Someone had written in it.  They were really busy and it was interesting reading someone’s life and their thoughts and feelings.  I sketched and wrote or used pastels over things they wrote.

Original journal artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015
Original journal artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015

I had to write lots of notes in these books that kept getting lost, so I put them in the sketchbook.  I started writing about experiences with a violent Dad and my Stepmum, experiences that were unfair and painful.  When I wrote I imagined I was doing slogans for T-shirts, which would really capture what I was wanting to convey, but visually interesting.  I ended up joining up all the punchlines I’d written for these T-shirt slogans on a list, then picked out pieces and joined them together in a DaDa way, in groups or sentences or paragraphs that highlighted how I was feeling.

Original Journal Artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 215
Original Journal Artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 215

I did a lot of this on trams.  Trams are a great place to work, particularly if you’re living in a rooming house with idiots wanting to talk all the time.  The whole process got me in touch with how I was feeling and how to express that.  Writing was extremely painful.  Pictures were easier.

What you see in the pictures is what started emerging.  I’d always been a person who’d said No’ to everything.  I could look at a piece and see all the layers that sat underneath it.

I started putting the images on T-shirts and wearing them.  I thought, instead of wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’d wear my pain on my chest.

I wanted to be brave.

Original journal artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015
Original journal artwork by Jack Chadwick. © Sept, 2015