As part of an exhibition celebrating the life and work of the artist Jonah Jones, I have made an edition of 5 photographic prints. 5 because that is the number of fingers on one hand. The work refers to Jonah Jones’ interest in ‘in jokes’ and conversations that were unique to individuals in his life. The texts refer to quotes and experiences from his life. The title is only on the print to indicate the words on the page and not on the final edition. The letters relate to handwriting from the ninth century by an unknown abbot at Llandelio Fawr. The words the abbot left are believed to be the first example of written welsh while the language was a mix of Welsh and Latin. Here the inscriptions are in Latin and relate to Jonah’s work with a Trajan typeface used in Roman for inscriptions and later developed and used by Eric Gill. These letters represent the personal and human, the Trajan typeface, historically, has been used for sculpture and monuments that represented status and power. The work suggests an impossible correspondence across time and place.
Abraham (3rd Attempt) (clay)
Abraham (3rd Attempt) is a recreation in clay of the arm, hand and dagger of Abraham 2, a stone sculpture of Jonah Jones from the collection of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. I was stuck by the violence and power of the gesture by Abraham in Jones’ work, as he holds a knife towards his son Issac as he looks to the heavens for a sign from God. It was God who has asked him to sacrifice his son to prove his loyalty. As a response, the dagger is removed from the hand and located out of reach as a gesture of peace and reminding us it is our individual decision to take up arms and resort to violence. The material used is intentionally breakable and fragile, as is the reality of peace. I was interested in the idea of physically changing the composition of the original work and how a narrative thread is drawn directly between the two works. Jonah Jones was a pacifist and I was interested in how this relates to his depictions of stories from the Old Testament as he attempted to understand the characters in the text, on a personal and emotive level while looking to develop a visual language seeking purity in form. The ‘3rd attempt’ relates to a continuation of numbering of Abraham 2 suggesting it is part of a series, while ‘attempt’ relates to whether the work and what is aspires to speak of, of Peace is something which can be seen as achievable .