by Jemma Mellor @Catalyst Festival
We’re excited to welcome Jess Wood into the Sputnik team, on our second year offering an internship programme to aspiring artists.
We asked Jess a few questions to introduce herself to our readers, and she performed her poem ‘Precariat’ for us, which you can watch below.
Describe yourself in five words:
Compassionate conviction (that) laughs out loud.
Who are your creative inspirations?
I’m inspired by anyone who can use words well to make me really think about things I usually experience without consequence. Whether it be a good preach, a podcast (Krista Tippet anyone?) or a gorgeous piece of poetry. In terms of poets, I’m inspired by Kei Miller, Warsan Shire and Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze.
Why are you interning for Sputnik?
Art can most often be placed on the back burner, and I figure that I’ll never have more freedom to explore, develop and get good at it than now!
I’m at the awkward post-grad state of not knowing what I want to do with my life, so during this year I will be exploring what it could look like for me to make a living as a poet, working within the arts sector and hosting workshops. I decided to intern with Sputnik specifically because of the way they intertwine faith and art which are two incredibly important aspects of my life. I know that the support I’ll receive, both as a Christian and as an artist will set me up well for the future.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m so thankful that I have a team of people behind me who are passionate about seeing me produce new work, and who will – if necessary – go the lengths of locking me in a room with only paper and pen to see it come about! I’m so aware of what a privilege it is to have a year dedicated to my art practice and having the flexibility of working my schedule around something I’m so passionate about.
Within the first month, it’s been inspiring to be surrounded by Christians who take art seriously and want to deeply engage with the issues we face in the world, and I’m so excited to learn more from them. Alongside all my artistic developments, the theology training from Impact was incredibly helpful and released me from a lot of anxieties and uncertainties I had about what a relationship with God can look like. I’m really looking forward to what we’ll learn in the next training block and how it will continue to develop my relationship with God.