Titled ‘Blue’, this new exhibition of vibrant, gestural paintings explores themes of memory, nostalgia and dreams through the inspiration of water. When speaking with Jon, he mentioned that most of the paintings exhibited here in the Mount House Gallery, were completed across the 2020 lockdown. I feel this new collection of paintings provokes a state of transience which we can all relate to, as at some points the lockdown felt hazy, almost like a dream.
In his exhibition introduction, Jon talks about water being an important environment in terms of our cellular memory and also significant with properties of life and rejuvenation. He was also inspired by his travels to Asia and Africa which heavy influenced his style of art and helped develop his overall narrative-based aesthetic. Jon has more recently taken inspiration from Monet’s series of paintings exploring ‘Water Lillies’. I can see Jon’s investigative paintings channel similar feelings of tranquillity and calm.
In regard to both the exhibition title and the overriding colour aesthetic, Jon is quoted as saying: ‘Blue is my current colour of choice. Memories from Bali, Zanzibar, Côte d’Azur, Ionian and Balearic Islands amalgamate and distil alongside time spent on beaches in Devon and Cornwall. New paintings explore Poseidon’s realm and social body language in the zone where land meets sea.’
In his earlier paintings, we see more narrative through figure; however, recently, a more abstract approach is taken with many techniques being echoed, such as the richness of mark-making, overlays of colour and gestural brush strokes. In the earlier figurative paintings, a muted colour palette is used; however, as the works become more abstract, brighter colours are introduced.
It has been a pleasure to spend time amongst Jon’s paintings and I encourage you to visit the show in January 2022.
Daisy L (L6)