In Your Face is an exhibition of works on paper by Donna Jones – on display at the Monkton Arts Acon Gallery, Ryde for the next two weeks. Ed
Now living in Ryde, Isle of Wight artist and poet, Donna Jones, has not come through a conventional art education route.
She spent over 31 years using creative arts working with ‘at risk’ teenagers in Sheffield, and young women who have been sexually trafficked from abroad, and is now able to concentrate and explore all these experiences, emotional, physical, and political through her painting.
She knows that her ‘simplistic’ images can, at the outset, shock, but she hopes they will make onlookers question their own perceptions of ageing, sexuality, disability, homophobia, murder, menstruation and the abuse of power within relationships.
Donna joins together beauty, disfigurement, disease, ageing and does not sanitise the resulting disturbing image.
Revealing reveal unsettling realities
Her work cuts through the surface image presented to the world to reveal unsettling realities; she dissects images and identities which people have thrust upon them; she acknowledges the ‘defacement’ of personality through media or peer pressure.
What you see on the surface is neither what you get, nor what you want. Her work is a discourse on power, social manipulation, the fragility and transience of the human body: memento mori.
Giving a voice
In her own words she says,
“I want to use my own and others’ challenging life experiences in my work. I have worked with young people who have been abused physically, emotionally and sexually; drug users, sexually trafficked who self harm through cutting and burning; violent young men, and those with drug induced paranoia, schizophrenia and mental illness.
“I do not shy away from exploring these traumatic experiences in my paintings or my poetry. I want my work to challenge emotionally, and politically.
“I also want it to give the above legitimate voice outside of the sensationalist tabloid press and social media.”
News shared by Graham Reading. Ed
Image: © Graham Reading Photography