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OVERVIEW

Paul Jones 2010

In this, his second book, Paul Jones has brought together a selection of his paintings, drawings and poetry into a comprehensive 'Overview' of the last four decades. His paintings are informed by fragments of history and layered in time. He creates terrains strewn with uncompromising complex textures alongside contrasting areas of calm smoothness. Within these pages are landscapes which evolve from within the painter's mind, yet are informed by the spirit and sense of place. With 149 full colour images of his paintings, plus drawings, poetry and a comprehensive text, this is a record of an artist who has committed himself to creating thoughtful, contemplative and inspirational paintings founded in his love of the English landscape.

'Overview' is a 200 page, 25cm x 30cm hardback now available through the publisher, Canterton Books or through the author. Please refer to the Contacts page for details.

Review

by Professor Simon Olding, University for the Creative Arts, Surrey

In my book, any contribution to the literature of the contemporary visual arts in the South West of England is a good thing. It is a fragile and occasionally hostile place for the arts, with galleries closing in the public and private sectors and the fate of others perhaps in the balance. Dorset is a county with a remarkable recent history in painting and very few public places left in which to see it. So the place of text and image is ever more vital.

With this in mind, a sturdy and weighty work such as Overview: the paintings, poetry and drawings of Paul Jones is to be welcomed into the still sparse canon. There is a lot to be savoured here. There are fine images, an abundance of them in fact. There is the artist's own self-penned story (a foundation for any reasonable critical analysis). His voice permeates the book: describing the normality and the exceptions of the artist's life: the ordinary walks that lead to extraordinary paintings. There are short, independent texts by respected writers in this field, (Vivienne Light and Fiona Robinson) and these are crucial, astute additions to the narrative mix.

Paul Jones is at his best as an artist when he looks underneath the surface of place; or down onto it as if in a kind of static flight. In doing so, he relinquishes formulaic descriptions for an earthy and sometimes even mystical symbolism: a gathering of magnetic shapes and eroded surfaces in a neo-romantic assemblage. These places seem to evince the pull of geographic as well as philosophic forces, as if a place is compounded of its ancient pasts, stratified by deep time. Jones will magnify a gleaming micaceous chip into a landscape of its own; or hover alongside a Dorset cliff face and find abstract pattern from massive rock formations.

This is an art respectful of the geography of remarkable places, often at the edge of cliff and sea, windswept in its mood. Its place is within a British neo romantic tradition of painting, at its best it hovers between representation and abstraction. Paul Jones has painted compellingly in this terrain, and the book is a fine pictorial account particularly of his mature work of the past ten or fifteen years.

Paul Jones is a patient and often scrupulous observer of place: a lyrical geographer with an eye to the antiquity and markings of landscape. He expresses the poetry of the Dorset landscape and the unique interplay of light on chalk. Canterton Books under the patient and gentle guidance of Vivienne Light has added a notable volume to the literature of the contemporary visual arts of the South West. It made me feel that the time is right for an extensive and independent survey of the field and a major public exhibition. The art of Paul Jones would play a part in that commanding story.

Professor Simon Olding
University for the Creative Arts
Farnham, Surrey.

"These paintings are born out of time and heat, his extraordinary making process replaying the creation through destruction of the ancient landscape which is his subject".

Fiona Robinson, 'Fifty Wessex Artists', Evolver Books. 2006

OVERVIEW 2010
    OVERVIEW 2010
  • book cover
Greencliff
    Greencliff
  • 60 x 60cm
Revealed lines
    Revealed lines
  • example page
Rockfall
    Rockfall
  • 76 x 100cm
Beyond the surface
    Beyond the surface
  • 46 x 46cm
Hold the light
    Hold the light
  • 60 x 60cm
Hold the light
    Enclosed landform
  • 51 x 36cm