Ey Up Joseph Buckley
Eight years ago, on my first ever day of tutorials as a visiting artist I met Joseph Buckley. That tutorial, sat on the roof terrace of Leeds College of Art Vernon Street, has always stayed with me as a significant moment - for me at least. Being only a few years younger than me, having only grown up a few streets up from me, and attending the same high school; it was a surprise our paths had not already crossed. Talking with Joe on the advent of 2018, with both of us now in New York (which I partly owe to him), I learn the even greater, and sadly much darker, significance that roof terrace has for him – though on a lighter note have just realised he finally explained to me why he was late.
Even then, all those years ago, Buckley had set out plans for a massive body of work, under the title of the Elegy Series, which sought to conclude in 2018. Now he has finally reached this point, he recounts the tragic origin of the series, how it formed his artistic practice, and why it eventually ended prematurely.
I am very honoured Joe has trusted me with sharing, what is really only a tiny part of, his story; which I hope helps provide a deeper context to an artist I knew would be one of the greats the first time I met him.