Q&A: Jonathan Brilliant, 

artist-in-residence at the U of M

click to enlarge ERICA WALTERS

Artist Jonathan Brilliant, 32, goes through at least 50,000 coffee stirrers a month. While he likes coffee, he's not stirring lattes; he uses the stirrers to weave landscapes.

Brilliant, an artist from South Carolina, has been inspired by both coffee shops and found objects. In his The Goldsworthy of Coffee Shop Project, an installation made of wooden coffee stirrers, he combines the two. The site-specific installation will be on display at U of M's Jones Hall Gallery until October 30th.

Flyer: When did you start building landscapes out of coffee stirrers?

Brilliant: I began working in this way four years ago. I gathered materials in my natural environment, which I saw as a coffee shop, and used them to create an installation.

Is the wood tough on your hands?

[The stirrers are] the kind you find at high-end coffee shops, not something in the office normally. Since I've started, I've only had one splinter and that was this week. The work I do gives me really strong hands.

How long does it take to complete an installation?

It has taken a week to complete this installation. I worked about 10 to 12 hours a day. The Memphis piece is the eighth installation I've done since I began. I will be doing eight more within the next 10 months.

How do you start a project like this?

I started weaving around the top first. Then I moved to the bottom. From there, it was easy to join the top and bottom and fill in the rest. I know beforehand what kind of volume and weaving is needed for a piece.

What should people see when they look at your artwork?

What I see is an experience. My artwork is an active experience [so that] you want to move around the space. None of my installations are the same. The Memphis piece was made specifically for Memphis.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Creative Process

      Memphis Brooks Museum of Art leader talks about the decision to consider leaving Overton Park.
    • Fun Money

      Locals, tourists invest in good times here.

Blogs

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

mother!

News Blog

Supreme Court Steps In on Fayette Church Matter

Intermission Impossible

Muhammad Ali Meets Stepin Fetchit at The Hattiloo Theatre

News Blog

Task Force Considers Medical Cannabis

News Blog

Trolleys Return to the Tracks for Testing

Music Blog

Jessi Zazu: In Memoriam

Beyond the Arc

Deflections: The Roster, TV Angst, and The Buy/Sell Clause

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

The Vietnam War

We Saw You

Cooper-Young Fest, Big Bugs, Art of Caring

Music Blog

Linda Heck: Bound to ExCITM tonight

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Erica Walters

  • House Warming

    Federal tax credit for homebuyers extended to April.
    • Jan 7, 2010
  • Earth Angel

    Local company creates an elaborate ride.
    • Dec 24, 2009
  • Corn on the Car

    Local woman distributes "kernels of truth" about genetically modified crops.
    • Dec 10, 2009
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation