What are the criteria when you’re creating a new website to show your work? We asked James Joyce, one of the stars of the Banksy-curated Dismaland show.
You’ve got a great image on your homepage. What is it exactly?
It’s a film of a large video piece that I made last year called Perseverance in the Face of Absurdity. The footage shown on the homepage is from Dismaland, which was a contemporary art show organized and curated by Banksy.
The site design was done by Studio Makgill. Why did you choose them?
I knew their work and liked what they did. There’s a subtlety and simplicity to their approach that has a quiet confidence about it. I was introduced by a friend and so I met with Hamish to talk through some ideas for the website and I felt comfortable that he understood what I was after.
What was your brief to them? You have a design background yourself.
Yes, I do so it was important to work with someone who shared similar values to me both from an aesthetic and practical viewpoint. My initial brief to them was very open. I wanted it to have a stripped-back functional feel, not to be over-designed but to still look considered, and it had to look fresh in five years’ time. I had a loose visual idea of how I imagined it might look but I wanted to see how someone else would approach a website design for me from an outside perspective. Any creative will tell you that it’s hard to design things for yourself and although I was involved in the process, I enjoyed taking a step back and allowing them to suggest their ideas to me.
What are the criteria for artists creating websites for themselves? Are they any hard-and-fast rules? Have they changed over the past five years or so?
I think every artist is different and so would have their own individual set of criteria to work to. But I think for any artist the most important thing to realize is that the art should be the primary focus and the website has to complement the work, whilst at the same time having something interesting or unusual about the design that makes you want to stay and look around.
What’s your next project?
I’m working on a series of new large-scale paintings for completion in November and from then on developing new ideas for 2017.