Flowers Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of
self-portraits by British artist Lucy Jones, presenting a selection
of work from the past twenty-five years.
Known for her frank and revealing representations of the issues
surrounding identity, Jones' paintings address conventional notions
of femininity, ageing and disability, through her close observation
of the self.
Using herself as the model, Jones explores ideas of the 'gaze',
claiming her own authority within the relationship between the
viewer, artist and subject. She has said: "I look at you. You look
at me. I let you look at me. YOU PROJECT ONTO ME." Jones paints the
props and supports in her life, including her glasses, walking
sticks and her wheelie, examining their role in shaping her
personal sense of self and the perceptions of others. Addressing
the feminine image in works such asFlushed, 2006, the artist poses
in fancy underwear, expressing the concealed human desire to be
loved, and, in her own words, being "allowed to love someone else."
Representing the unseen remains important throughout Jones'
work. She considers the inner likeness to be more important than
the exterior, which is sometimes referred to by the artist as a
mask. In her early self-portraits, Jones reflected the conflicting
sides of her personality, by splitting the canvas into two parts.
There are echoes of this duality inHow Did You Get on This Canvas?,
2013, in which the artist's own shadow presents the externalization
of hidden interior emotions.
Jones sees the rectangular format of the canvas as providing the
ideal framework within which to use the language of painting and
drawing as an expressive force. Jones explores the relation of her
body to its surroundings, often enclosing the figure within
oppressive fields of color. In works such asThis Piece of Paper
Seems Too Small, 2006, the absence of surrounding space draws the
viewer closer to the image, in which Jones contorts her body to fit
the frame, her shoulders wedged against its vertical borders.
She has described her work as having an "awkward beauty",
transforming the angular and unwieldy subject through her
rhythmical balance of brilliant, complementary colors and tones.
Jones identifies with artists such as Matisse and Derain for their
radically non-naturalistic palette, and with milie Charmy, for the
raw and expressive handling of both her materials and the subject
matter of the female image.
Through her candid approach to the subject matter, Jones has
also reached beyond the personal to approach a conversation with
the viewer about a universal, shared experience. As she says: "By
looking at myself I'm trying to reflect something about being human."