Joseph Segaran # 27

Joseph Segaran # 27

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-3 minute read-

The Sunday Session welcomes Joseph Segaran!

Joseph cycles up onto the bridge where I’m waiting. He’s dressed in an full ethnic white suit, called a kurta. I feel like a groupie dressed in my high street fashion. We’ve met on the North side of the Prinsengracht at his favourite cafe: Papeneiland.

We find common ground, both having studied at the same Newcastle art school: it’s been a while since for both of us. After a few moments we piece together the places we once hung out, but there are pieces missing. I hope they’re still there somewhere! We also both have brothers who are ten years younger than ourselves. I ask Joseph where he’s from? York, he says and returns the question. Derby, you know, close to Leicester. I laugh and add. You know, Leicester. They won the Premier League in the UK. No, that means nothing to me I’m afraid, he says. 

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He moved to Amsterdam ten years ago on a whim after graduating from Fine Art, with seemingly little direction. After arriving Joseph found Amsterdam to offer beauty everywhere, at odds with other capitals in the way that you have to travel to find it. I ask about his artwork. 

“I’ve come full circle since art school, first I started drawing, mostly drew figurative stuff of people , also kinda machines, broken things, cranes….scrapyards. They had an architectural look although never being about architecture. Then more streamlined, it became quite conceptual, the drawings became less intricate. I started taking pictures with my mobile phone and made a website, it was all interactive with projections, looking back I don’t like it at all, but its good to experiment.”

I relate to Joseph on the theme of experimentation, although sometimes individuals came up with a product or managed to get their work into some kind of art market very quickly. We both made many types of work but agree that if there is ever a time to experiment, its at art school. 

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The drawings he produces now are of the city’s iconic architecture. Joseph’s particular fascination is with the various gable types that characterise the tops of the buildings around the centre of Amsterdam’s nine streets and beyond. You can see his work here. I ask about how he makes his pen and ink drawings. He says that he plots them out with pencil, then pen to paper, there is no turning back at this stage and on one occasion he found himself concentrating so much on drawing a row of windows that he drew one outside of a house. I guess he had to add a whole house to cover that one up. His work is now both sold and commissioned to private clients, mostly of the Expat community who leave Amsterdam and want to remember the house or see their apartment amongst the gables. We talk for a while of the characteristics of the houses, at first all very similar although as people are, the houses have their own history, quirks and cladding. 

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Take a look at some of Joseph’s stunning work here.