Monday, 2 July 2012

Artist of the Week - David Rhys Jones

David Rhys Jones produces ceramic wall art informed by journeys or site-specific locations, recorded using photography and drawings. The artworks record the experience of the location and also create a narrative of the walk.

Where did you train?
Central Saint Martins

What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
Apart from all of the practical ‘how to’ stuff, I was taught to think in a different way; to find my own ‘voice’ and be self-critical (when you leave college you don’t have a tutor to crit your work any more!) I wish we were taught a bit more about the business side of things, but that can come later – usually through making mistakes!

Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?
Being an artist is now my only job but I used to be a technician at an art college.

One favourite living artist?
Peter Blake – I love his work, and admire the way that he has been prepared to change and experimented over the years – right from the Sgt Pepper album cover, through a period beautiful rural and Shakespeare inspired watercolours and drawings to his more recent graphic works.

One favourite historical artist?
Ben Nicholson – I love the clarity of his work - he was great at experimenting with both representational and abstract works. I particularly like his three dimensional wall pieces.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Being an art technician was hard work but also great fun – I loved watching students develop and create new work. Over the years I’ve also done some unpaid work advising students or been the subject of a case study for their written work- I’ve found this very rewarding and its good to still feel connected to students in some way.

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Victor Pasmore. I love his sculptural works and I’d like to make a sculpture with him- I think I’d learn a lot…

At age 16 who most influenced your style?
Jamie Reid (the graphic designer who did all the Sex Pistols posters and covers) – at that time he opened my eyes to working with collage and a ‘layered’ approach. I was heavily into music and graphic design at that age!

Last book / film that blew your mind?
'The Artist’ was the last good film that I saw – if you are  still thinking about it for days after, then for me it’s a good film…

What music are you currently listening to?
 Caitlin Rose’s album ‘Own Side Now’ - She has a great, distinctive voice – and the lyrics are good too!

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
At least an hour – but its research…honest!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
I love living in Lewes – we’ve only been there a couple of years so the novelty hasn’t worn off and we are still discovering new things. If money were no object, I’d like a second home – maybe a croft in Scotland or somewhere remote to just relax and be.

Where and what is your studio?
I have a studio at home in Lewes with a cellar space for ‘messy’ work and a room in the house that is a ‘clean’ space. I also have a shed in the garden to house my kiln for ceramic works.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
It’s OK – but working at home means that sometimes work gets the upper hand…

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

What would your dream commission be?
There is a small gallery space on the left as you enter Tate Modern  - I’d love to be given that space to do something!

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Tate Modern

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