The Art of Jem Ham

Facing uncertainty


Mixed media on linen

153.2 x 107.5 x 3.2 cm
60 x 42 x 1.25 in



2020 lifted the illusionary veil of control that had permeated my life and challenged the status quo of my existing art practice. Over the years, I had lapsed into this illusion. At the process level, this manifested as opting for finer details in the pursuit of perfection, forcing me into a corner.

John Finley said that ‘maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty’. I felt the next step for me towards artistic maturity was learning to embrace uncertainty from the start to finish of a piece; shifting my process outside the box.

In concrete terms, this meant starting with a blank canvas, trusting the intuitive process, and synchronously allowing this new place of thought to direct the work. With the end point unknown in the beginning, it meant allowing myself the freedom to accept that each mark made is exactly what and where it should be.

This is the result.

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