As UCS grounds staff washed the windows of the Atrium building this week, they eradicated sketches made on the glass by artist Andrew Vass. Vass wasn’t upset, he told an audience of colleagues and students at the Atrium studios tonight: “If you’re too invested in longevity, it can constrain you in making the work.”
His current work is inspired by the urban-industrial texture of Ipswich, such as Park Area 02 which is showing at the Jerwood Space in London as part of the shortlist for the Jerwood Drawing Prize. He likes the urban environment and has no wish to paint pure landscapes. “In Rome I was inspired in a similar way by ruins.”The work is an example of how he finds interesting subjects in pieces of ground, “something below the horizon.” What he makes of them is abstract, a way of capturing the instantaneous physical sensation of the scene.
He’s lately been using the car parks themselves, as well as docks and demolition sites near UCS, as canvases for drawings. Although at an earlier stage in his career he spread large canvases on the sidewalk, in-your-face art, he says “I feel I’ll succeed if I’m the opposite of Banksy – if it disappears into the surface.” Yes indeed – it took me a couple of days to locate the work above on a site along the waterfront. Now they seem to be everywhere. Catch them before they decompose.