Originally from Thirsk, Jake graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Leeds College of Art in 2017. He is now embarking on a career as a full-time artist.
As a painter Jake Mullins is currently interested in Marc Auge’s analysis of modern life, especially around the notion of non-places, described by Auge as places in which we spend a lot of our time participating in travel, communication and consumption.
Jake is thus intrigued by spaces which we inhabit on a temporary timescale, especially those sat on the border between the public and the private realms, often be associated with leisure and luxury. Jake aims to document and provide a spotlight for these places that are often overlooked in today’s fast-paced society to help us to think more about our surroundings and how we interact with them.
In his most recent paintings, public spaces such as shopping malls, office blocks, hotel receptions and bathhouses become the focal subject matter, aiming to provide those spaces, that go frequently unnoticed, with their moment of glory. The lonely potted plant is used as a signifier of domestic comfort referencing George Orwell’s book ‘Keep the Aspidistra Flying’, whilst also being used as a motif to describe the irony of being part of a larger globalized structure in which no one is ever really at home.
Wandering around the city gathering primary research in the form of photography and drawing is, for Jake, an important process in the documentation of spaces within the public sphere that could considered non-places. Working from these photographs as well as his own sketches enables Jake to focus on colour, shape and perspective to capture the essence of the subject matter he is painting.
In ‘The Curtain’, Jake depicts the lavish tiled interior of the Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa. Devoid of people, this painting showcases an example of those places often on the boundary between public and the private space. The small bottle of orange soap becomes a signifier for an unseen human presence and the curtain symbolises the thin veil separating the public and the private realms.
Jake has been shortlisted for several exhibitions and prizes since graduating. These include the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition, AON Community Art Award, 2017, Royal Society of British Artists, 2017, the Lynn Painter – Stainer Prize, 2017, Sunny Art Prize, 2018 and KPP Award, 2018. His work has also been shown in exhibitions in Yorkshire, London, Spain and USA.