Jake Ewen is an artist and designer based in Somerset, UK. Having exhibited his work in several group shows, you may also have seen his visionary creations decorating the fields of both Glastonbury and Medicine festival this year.

The name Wylderness is a portmanteau of sorts, combining ‘wilderness’ and ‘wyrd’, the later being a concept in Anglo-Saxon culture roughly corresponding to fate or personal destiny. Wyrd, and it’s rich roots eventually dried up into the modern day, and rather less interesting, ‘weird’. The wilderness is a wyrd place, potent and mysterious.

As an artist, I’m fascinated by the act of perception, how the brain navigates ‘reality’, and the expectations that inform and bias this process. Much of my work flirts with optical illusion, intended to cultivate that fleeting moment of pre-cognizance, where the line between observer and observed is still being drawn. In this space of ambiguity, before belief has set to opinion, there is an opportunity to experience firsthand the fluid workings of one’s own cognitive faculties; to witness something of the observer.

In his work jake addresses the Wylderrness, both in subject; the majestic, wild and mysterious creatures with whom we share our planet, and process; exploring the Wylderness found at the edges of human technical innovation.As part of his creative tool set, Jake uses artificial neural networks to help craft his visions. The resultant images are then digitally manipulated before further processing, and repeatedly worked on in this way to bring out the spirit of his subject.

In many ways, the AI mimics those functions of the human brain, involved in perception, in seeking to collapse the world into a coherent picture. By feeding in visual associations and cognitive artefacts, I’m able to guide the AI into a hallucination of sorts, and effectively explore altered states of artificial consciousness. I see these pieces as a marriage of extremes, an exploration of the unknowable wilds of nature and the wildness at the frontiers of technology; a celebration of apparent opposites.

Jake is also available for commissioned works. Please don't hesitate to get in touch via the Contact page or the form below.

Contact form