Suhm welcomes artist Jason McDonald.
Jason McDonald | Suhm Artist | Melbourne, VIC
Suhm is buzzing about our latest Melbourne-based artist, Jason McDonald. He describes his work as exploring “the synthesis of energy, aesthetics and expression as a conduit for transcribing the ineffable”. In a world embracing deeper introspection and self-awareness, his most recent collection, ‘Modulation’, is more than a dreamy set of illustrations to stare at.
We had a chat with Jason about the extraordinary inspirations behind his work, now available exclusively to Suhm.
One thing people will recognise immediately from your work, is that there’s a little something extra going on. There’s a sense of movement, harmony, and discord that all combines so magically on the canvas. How do you describe this collection?
‘Modulation’ evokes the ways in which matter moves and dances with itself, how energy oscillates and coalesces in rhythms, and how through the means of consciousness we can attune ourselves to more refined states of perception and understanding.
Like the Suhm founders, you have background in graphic design. Tell us a little more about your creative journey.
I was a Creative Director and Graphic Designer for over 20 years. This included work in both the print and digital domains, primarily within the advertising, education and technology sectors. Alongside these vocational roles I’ve consistently pursued personal projects in art, music and poetic musings as a means of igniting and enriching the artistic impulse.
Clearly, being constrained by something as rigid as a corporate brand guideline must have been stifling at times. Now that you’re free from artistic restrictions, how would you describe your aesthetic and your process?
My process is rarely linear or obvious. I think a background in graphic design and an appreciation of the versatility a great designer brings to any project, affords an artistic scope and sensibility that roams beyond formal classification. Aesthetically I’d say my work is subtle and vibrational, with style explorations ranging from highly detailed black ink work, to painterly abstract canvases and layered, high resolution digital pieces. I create art as a bridge to the subtle realms of energetic intelligence, a way to connect with the vitality and nuance of these dimensions of life, and as an invitation to discover the beauty, harmony and mystery available to us when we open ourselves to the unseen.
A lot of the work you’re known for has an ethereal digital quality. This collection is a noticeable departure from that style. What do you like about a more illustrative approach to mark-making?
I’m deeply interested in the nature of both form and the formless. In this collection, the form is more pronounced and the style visually metaphoric of frequency and vibration. I’ve featured dots in my artworks for a long time as I find they characterise the interconnectedness of all things and the infinite expression that abounds within both the macro and micro. In these pieces I get to use colour, texture, pattern and spatial relationship to bring a kind of wonder, warmth and even whimsy to what may otherwise seem quite an earnest or obscure topic.
We love abstract artwork. Especially when combined with geometric shapes. What inspired these particular pieces?
The nature of consciousness, interdependence and an awareness of a collective field underlies all my art. This series explores the idea of consciousness modulating and informing the flow of energy in the world around us, pulsing with intelligence. It is an expression of my own long-held fascination with these dynamics.
Touching again on your twenty years as a designer, it must be liberating to produce work based purely on your own impulses. What do you believe we need to see more of in the world of visual communication?
I used to follow the notion that functional solution was paramount, but now I whole-heartedly lean towards work that brings more aesthetic warmth to the world. We are bombarded with so much didactic visual and style, and clearly a design brief should reconcile an idea or a vision, but when a designer is given space for their imaginative curiosity and intuition to arise, and the outcome is something that imbues the world with more beauty, then I’m in.
Where can we find you when you’re not making art?
In addition to my creative projects, I work in the healing arts as a certified Integral Energetics practitioner, whilst maintaining studies at the intersection of science and spirituality (consciousness, brainwave states, physics and mystery wisdoms). I also run online training/healing sessions for artists, assisting re-connection to the inspirational, vital and joyful parts of their creative being.
To learn more about Jason’s unique process and philosophy, you can find him here: