CLAUDE JONES (DE/NZ)
Text written by GHA
Using clay, New Zealand artist Claude Jones creates surrealist figures by combining everyday objects with human figures. This process creates wonderfully weird characters that ooze playfulness and imagination.
Jones’ sculptures mainly feature animals interacting with man-made ‘human’ objects. Her aim is to explore the idea of the ‘other,’ a discipline that draws attention to eternal members of society. In this case, the ‘other’ is often neglected whereas Jones makes them the main subject.
Her sculptures act as a form of activism – as a pacifist, Jones wants to transform the human and animal relationship, creating figures that humanise animals in order to protest against the exploitation of the environment for our gain.
Elements such as the pose of the figures, often restrictive and uncomfortable, or her use of pastel tones which take a submissive approach, create figures that are both an act of aggression yet extremely digestible for a viewer. Her approach is understated and respectable, her message delivered in such a way that allows the viewer to understand her point of view but also enjoy the imaginative nature of the work.
Clay as a fragile material enforces these themes of entrapment and captivity. Much like the topics of her activism, Jones’ material displays the fragility of environmental issues, much like porcelain— once broken it’s hard to fix. Therefore Jones’ works hold a feeling of urgency.
Despair Roo King