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Jack Archer

Jack Archer’s experiments into the uncanny through a vast array of materials lead to discovering a new meaning behind the classic smiley face emoji. These emojis were transformed, a seemingly innocent smile corrupted into something far more sinister. These smiles morphed into twisted ‘fake smiles’, turning them into the mask that society wears throughout everyday life. People are pretending to be happy for the benefit of others, whilst inside their thoughts are tearing them down, diminishing self-worth and constantly second-guessing past decisions. The fake smiles represent these dark times in life, confused as to why they are still moving forward, becoming pressured by the norm that you must be happy in front of others. Originally these works were cultivated from an obsession with the uncanny and materiality of artworks; these recent works however attempt a newer theme: ‘to disarm and disturb’. Disarming the viewer with a barrage of colours and patterns, these automatic drawings are the information processed each day, burdening memory and building up stress, eventually causing the victim to bear this fake smile. Disturbing the viewer with the amalgamation of the self-imposed strain on keeping up this fake smile charade, the grasping hands of dark thoughts tightly pull the bearer along like a puppet, lacking the power to resist.

Tessa Fox