‘The Tragedy of Landscape’ Artist Interview: Reece Jones

Could you tell us a little about your background and what you have been up to recently?

I graduated from the Royal Academy in 2002 and set up studio at a project space run by myself and a group of artists who had just graduated from the Royal Academy and Royal College of Art – we made work and put on shows there for five years. That launched things I guess and since then I’ve been showing non-stop. Right now I’m working on a new body of work which explores ‘truth’ and belief. The work is based on plaster casts which apparently ‘evidence’ the footprints of Bigfoot. I’m making my own sculptures in reference to these and a series of drawings based on the sculptures.

I’m a lecturer in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School and I’ve curated a couple of shows recently: The Hair Of The Dog at Block 336 in Brixton and Terminalia at Charlie Smith London.

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Could you tell us about the thinking behind your practice?

I’m influenced by a wide variety of things. I have a fascination with Land Art at the moment. I’m particularly interested in the relationship monumental earthworks have to time and how their relationship to the landscape is affected as they potentially degrade. Equally I’m interested in the notion that something can remain relatively stable while the environment shifts around it; that the atmosphere of a work of art can be affected by elements beyond the artists control. The world (as we understand it) is a very vulnerable and troubled place and I like art which at least acknowledges its own instability – or which is prepared to raise more questions than it can answer.

I like cinema. Particularly the realisation of psychologically charged environments. I love Tarkovsky for this. I’m constantly returning to early Spielberg to make reference to the thin membrane he establishes between suburbia and chaos. That’s as close to the contemporary sublime as anyone gets I think…the shed at the end of Elliot’s garden or the beach in Jaws.

I look at art a lot and go to galleries all the time. That informs me, but it takes ages for stuff to settle in my head. I’m currently having a good long think about Sarah Sze’s shows at Victoria Miro.

Could you tell us about how your works are made?

I mostly make drawings on paper in charcoal. Although through process I try to test what that means. I’m interested in creating something authoritative, something which belies the preparatory, ephemeral attitude of the medium. It takes a long time to make a drawing the way I do it and I like the idea that it might take time to view it too. The drawings are repeatedly erased (literally sanded back) and re-drawn, so they build very reluctantly over time. They keep asking me new questions, undermining my authorship until we come to a sort of uneasy mutual understanding of what’s what. At that point I guess I can say that something is finished.

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Could you say a little about the work you have in The Tragedy of Landscape exhibition?

Multiplex is from a series called Control Test. The whole series is drawings (and some paintings) of unpopulated landscapes which play host to these screens. The screens have varying relationships with the landscapes and they illuminate, slice, dominate. They are various in size: some loom behind mountains, others are consumed by shifting dunes. They are non-specific entities. Occasionally people read them as extra-terrestrial – I don’t specify but they are a constant. In the case of Multiplex the whole thing is a meditation on composition. There are varying rhythms created by the white screens, the undulating horizon, the trees, the static noise of the charcoal on the paper and of course by the five frames which break the image up.

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KEY EXHIBITION INFORMATION

Griffin Gallery

The Studio Building,

21, Evesham Street,

London,

W11 4AJ

 

Open: 12th February – 13th March 2015

Mon – Thursday, 10 am – 5pm

Friday 10 – 4pm

(Other times by appointment)

Exclusive Collectors Evening + Artists Tour: Tuesday 24 February 2015 : 6.30pm [please RSVP to admin@antlergallery.com]