The Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place
Running from 8th - 30th July
The paintings by Julie Jones, who is based in Arena Studios in Liverpool,
and who recently exhibited in Cologne as part of the Eight Days a Week
project between the two dockside cities, are unusual to say the least;
many of them are reminiscent of perhaps looking through a bus window when
it has been pouring with rain, and all you see is a misshapen but nevertheless
intriguing and often distinctive collage of colours running one into the
other. Two of them are virtually identical, called ‘Leaves of Grass
1’ and ‘Leaves of Grass 2’.
The exhibition as a whole features large and small scale work in oil
on canvas together with works on paper and work using various printmaking
To describe some of the oil on canvas artwork would be to say they were
a futuristic Turner, if he’d lived in a neon nightmare of the 21st
Century. One of my favourites is ‘Woven Light’ which captures
a stormy moment over a hill - a freeze frame lost forever. I liked particularly
a small oil on canvas called ‘The Docks’; it could almost
be Stonehenge. There is a sense that Jones is finding her voice, and capturing
a style that defines what she wants to express.
“Drawing becomes a guide to discover another, more intangible image
through paint,” said Jones. “I attempt with my paintings to use the sensory and
seductive qualities of colour, light and texture to explore the continuing
relevance of landscape, place and natural phenomena as a poetic image.”
Art, like many other things, has its time and place; if you are in the
right frame of mind, a picture, a poem, a song or whatever, you can capture
the whole mood of it, and you might feel that a particular piece or work
of art is wonderful.
If you are not in the mood however, what might be a genuinely created
vision, could leave you indifferent or cold. And, certainly with paintings
and poetry and other art forms you have to actually engage with, there
is a ‘dropping off’ point, a time when you have had enough
for one day.
Nevertheless, the Julie Jones exhibition works well, and some of her
paintings capture moments and emotions that perhaps cannot be expressed
in mere words.