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Seeking authenticity between the two realities — the internal and external — in order to develop an individual sense of clarity and achievement is the spur as to why I feel the need to work as an artist.

As Dorothy Rowe so succinctly put it in her book “The Successful Self”... “many introverts become creative in one of the arts where their mode of working is by observing external reality, taking some aspect of that inside themselves, reworking this in an idiosyncratic way, and then putting their creation back into external reality”. This has a very particular resonance.

The childhood experiences of living predominantly in foreign countries yet within the context of a British military environment obviously fed my imagination, and the need to assimilate the varied influences and experiences.

The Far East was a seminal reality, and the sense of “otherness” was exaggerated when enjoying the delights of living in Malaya and Hong Kong.

So why “Art” as a pre-occupation and finally as a profession? The turning of the experience and intimacy of drawing in the childhood bedroom into something more profound. Life Class at Loughborough had the intensity and rigour under the gaze of Pat May as a tutor, and it had a major impact that has lasted. The lack of a prescriptive regime on the Open Fine Art course at Exeter meant that it allowed me to enjoy the warmth and energy of the Ceramics Department. Using clay was essential to express my ideas, and working in a figurative manner there, rather than the barn-like austerity of the Sculpture Department, seemed much more appealing.

The work produced at the Royal College of Art explored subject matter and themes that have stayed with me to elaborate and perpetually renew. Eduardo Paolozzi was my personal tutor and he fed my interest in Rodin’s sculpture and the use of moulds. Also the beauty of Cycladic and Classical sculpture which he extolled their beauty and power when on a visit together to the Cast Room at the V & A, and the British Museum. He would leave presents of images and books to feed my development, and that way of nurturing interest has remained with me when relating and teaching my own students.

The RCA library introduced me to the exquisite reliefs of Manzù that have been a constant influence, and the works of Joseph Cornell and the wealth and beauty of Japanese art and design, which have always informed my way of working and appreciation of materials.

Teaching has meant that I have needed to become a much more generous, informed and an eclectic maker, and this helps ameliorate the feeling of “weeding someone else’s garden” at times. Especially when you meet, and have some affect on an artist‘s development of the calibre of Benedict Carpenter, who won the first Jerwood Sculpture Prize. Being an artist and a teacher under those circumstances is an intense and meaningful experience.

Cindy Jones MA(RCA)

 

All works copyright Cindy Jones © 2014

 

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