Ben Jones, lying on a lazy dragon, 2017. acrylic on board with timber frame. 540mm x 810mm
Fort Delta is pleased to announce ‘One Foot in the Grove’, a new exhibition of paintings by Melbourne-based artist Ben Jones. This is Jones’ first solo exhibition and follows on from his participation in ‘Here’s to Future Days’ in 2016 at the gallery, in addition to being featured in the gallery’s inaugural presentation at last year’s SPRING1883 art fair at Hotel Windsor, Melbourne.
The suite of paintings that comprise Ben Jones’ solo-debut exhibition ‘One Foot in the Grove’ at Fort Delta surveys the ad-hoc ornaments and decorative systems maintained and upheld by many who reside in Melbourne’s inner-north suburb of Coburg.
Jones’ new paintings arrive through the artist’s fascination with generations of a community and the presence of artifacts which take pride of place on their front lawns, gardens and houses; curiousities he observes as a local, and a phenomenon of visual vernacular some but not all neighbourhoods possess.
Primarily represented as distortions, his subjects come to survey the charming absurdies of bespoke water features and letterboxes, as well as everyday things like padlocks, pets and fences. The works are blunt and peculiar in appearance, steeped in heavy applications of paint. Thick black outlines divide their timber surfaces and are also used to outline his subjects with deliberate humor and carry a sentiment of 'staking ones own', remaining quintessential to Jones’ previous works and how he now frames the image of his neighbourhood.
His acknowledgement of repeated motifs and a plethora of recognizable yet distinctly-Coburg visual cues is acutely expressed through his decision to delineate each subject he selects as one distinct work and also foregrounds the idea of existing singularities, which as a gestalt inform the complexities of what a colloquial image might look like, reflecting several of the dominant ideas for the exhibition and the importance of viewing Jones’ pictures together. The various motifs and emblematic ideas he presents also include examinations between asymmetry and balance, isolated sentiments and idiosyncratic designs which inform and result from a sense of collective identity, and the fragile line between the decorative and the iconic.
Ben Jones is an artist living and working in Melbourne. He has exhibited regularly in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and New York. Jones is also the founder of TANS gallery space and studios and of the publisher 'No One Special' who have published numerous titles and participated in Book Fairs, both locally and abroad. Jones has self published 26 titles relating to his own art practice since 2010.