Gareth Morris Jones
A new site specific art work including objects from Ceredigion museum.
March 7th to April 25th 2009
Artist Gareth Morris Jones has recently returned to live in Wales from Japan. He now lives in Llanrhystud. He is holding his first exhibition of work since coming home at Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth. Influenced by his travels and his experiences in Japan Gareth has chosen to work with the gallery space in the museum.
Gareth explains a little about the collaboration with the museum.
'This piece of work is designed for the Coliseum gallery at Ceredigion Museum. I am interested in working in specific spaces and relate my work to the place. I allow myself the luxury of devising boundaries within that space but also react to outside influences. My time in Japan is also reflected in the fact that it influenced the way I think about objects and space.'
A number of boundaries- personal and professional- are marked by the current exhibition, coming as it does within months of his move from the urban frenzy of Osaka, Japan to his current home on the west coast of Wales. While much of the work here has been previously exhibited internationally (though never in UK) other elements of the show relate to a new direction in his work that has started to evolve at his studio back in Wales. He now works in the old school building at Llanrhystud which he finds suits his new method of working.
Gwenllian Ashley, assistant curator at Ceredigion Museum, pointed out that Gareth has worked with found objects before and many of the items chosen have particular resonance. Gwenllian says, 'Gareth works with objects such as maps, toys even sweet moulds. These are often the point of departure for his drawings and constructions. The works are complex but laced with humour, they exploit a visual language grown out of Gareth's interests in, among other things, landscape, music, the body, folk imagery and contemporary popular culture.'
In conversation with Gwenllian Gareth pointed out that while he considers drawing central to his practice, in recent years the exhibition space has played an increasingly dynamic role in the presentation of his ideas. He says, 'Work has often been hung in response to idiosyncrasies within venues such as alcoves and exposed heating ducts. A tension between rigorous planning and spontaneous improvisation has become crucial. This reflexive approach has taken a twist in the current exhibition with a number of objects borrowed from the museum's storeroom being embedded within the installation.'
Gwenllian was also interested in the fact that some of the thinking behind this display involves some of the ritual and beliefs of the Japanese culture. Gareth explains, 'I found that certain things in Japan had a strong connection to the way I think about objects and how they sit in a space. This has become 'key' to what I am creating now.'
The assembled works on display are framed by large, modular shapes mapped out on the floor and walls of the gallery. Gareth adds, 'The flatness and size of these shapes provides a counterpoint to the small drawings and constructions. I am attempting to explore the way in which we relate to things and space and this has given me a chance to present my work in this beautiful gallery.'