AMALGAMS | Robert Jones 20 June- 10th July
An exhibition of sculptures by Robert Jones
As a sculptor, Robert Jones has been inspired by the industrial and rural landscapes of the Isle of Man. He started his working life helping on a farm in the north of the Island as a boy. On leaving school he served a traditional apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner and has been self- employed in the building trade for twenty years, developing a passion for traditional crafts and materials. For the past ten years he has specialised in the conservation and restoration of old buildings using traditional techniques.
Robert has drawn on these experiences, bringing them together in this body of work. Using fragments of our natural and man-made past, Robert has created sculptures drawing on human and material life histories. Derelict machinery and abandoned materials are resurrected in new forms as monuments to their history. These eight pieces are amalgams of materials; burnt timber is combined with beaten copper; beams from an old barn and modern building girders are coupled with the drive shafts of agricultural machinery; slate lintels are set with bronze and steel, to create vibrant pieces of contemporary art.
Robert has a long term aim of taking sculpture out into the public arena, bringing art to a wider audience. Quotes to use around the room/with the photos: “What is my inspiration? I like going round places like Ramsey Shipyard, the old quarries and derelict tholtans up in the hills. I see an old stone and I might pick it up with a view to marrying it with a winch, a cog or another old piece of machinery I’ve collected. If it doesn’t work this time, it’s put to one side but not thrown away as I’m likely to use it again.” “These pieces are influenced by the things I see around me every day in the Isle of Man; old slate lintels, abandoned farm machinery in the corners of fields, gate posts with gudgeons driven through them, the chains hanging from a boat and the gibs and cranes of the yards.”
“Whilst collecting these curiosities I’ve met so many people and made good friends. There were some raised eyebrows at first, giving way to warmth, humour and mutual respect. The humour is evident in my work.”