Welcome to

My next exhibition is at the Coningsby Gallery. Works displayed on this site will be amongst those on show. The press release is included below and an update will follow the exhibition. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you there.

jaf@jonathanfookes.com

Earthworks

How to introduce my work without sounding pretentious, making claims or worse still, justifying to myself what I do? If I could write what I paint I would be a poet. Earthworks are a kind of statement. I hope the earth speaks louder than the work.

I've been making pictures for nearly all of my 59 years. From Giotto to Cezanne and into the 20th century I'd felt my way through the past and after 20 years of one-man shows, I found myself in the nineties looking at cave paintings while technology advanced around me. Something was bringing me back to Earth and I seemed to have returned full-circle to the age of six, when I rode my bicycle round a frosty lawn, running upstairs to look at the result from a bedroom window.

By this time I was a regular visitor to India and in Kerala I stumbled upon the obvious. I was about to glue-size a sheet of hand-made paper when something made me scoop up yesterday's fire and mix it with the glue. Wood ash, earth left by termites, burnt dung and mineral grains flowed across the paper revealing themselves in a moment of truth.

Now I work in Cornwall and India with earth and natural materials, the substance of which we are a part. I'm serious about this, but how I feel is not what I paint, even if I'm lost in the work as I do it. There is something of me in it just as there is something of the environment, even something of my mentors, but my main concern is with the material. Now I try to cooperate with it rather than use it to create illusions. Earth as a subject and object.

These days one might expect the Earth to scream, yet it sits on my canvas and I'm told that there is a tranquility there amidst the primal chaos. My intention with Earthworks is to allow earth to speak for Earth, so for now I'll keep quiet. They have to speak for themselves, if only in whispers.

J.F.