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Jonathan Williams

MA work

Shuck

 My series Shuck considers how folklore survives within contemporary practice. I discuss this using discreet pieces that share the same sense of agency. Within a contemporary interpretation the archetype of the black dog has transposed from otherworldly harbinger to a metaphor of bipolar depression and mental illness. Of importance is our human relation to this canine, of the anthropomorphic qualities we attribute to a ‘mans best friend'. Although silent, these figures communicate layers of meaning: the self-portrait, an estranged community and the greater concern for our human condition.

Development within my work has seen me reassess my approach to scale. My major influence has been a study trip to Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa. The 18th-century Italian memorial sculptures are renown for their highly detailed, life-like rendering.

Primary research has been­­ in the form of anatomical studies. This has taken a broad context, exploring the figure's social role through creative writing at Imperial College and in depth life drawing to understand human mechanics. This research has lead to my membership of the Belgian medical and biological art group, Biomab, undertaking research trips to study specimens at human and veterinary hospitals across Europe.  

Info

  • Jon Williams
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Ceramics & Glass, 2014

    Specialism

    Ceramics

  • As a figurative maker, I am aware of my works inherent narrative, my interest lies in the legibility and sustainability of the subject, in an enduring material such as ceramics.

     My series Shuck considers how folklore survives within contemporary practice. I discuss this using discreet pieces that share the same sense of agency. Within a contemporary interpretation the archetype of the black dog has transposed from otherworldly harbinger to a metaphor of bipolar depression and mental illness. Of importance is our human relation to this canine, of the anthropomorphic qualities we attribute to a ‘mans best friend'. Although silent, these figures communicate layers of meaning: the self-portrait, an estranged community and the greater concern for our human condition. 

    In a contemporary glut of image and object, folklore slumbers within our primal conscience. Within my work this provides a context that is familiar but obscured within the realm of the uncanny.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) 3D Design, Wolverhampton University, 2000
  • Experience

  • Visiting artist, St Paul's School, London, 2014; Lecturer, Ceramics Foundation, Leicester College, 2008–2014; Art coordinator, Raku Fire Project, Herbert Gallery, Coventry, 2007
  • Exhibitions

  • Coronation Festival, Buckingham Palace, London, 2013; Noah’s Ark, Royal College of Music, London, 2013; Progress, Preston Fitzgerald Residence, Kensington, 2013; Earth and Fire, Rufford, 2012–2013; Grand Designs Live, Excel, London, 2010; Best of East, Ferrers Gallery, Ashby De La Zouch, 2009; International Ceramics Festival, Mino, Japan, 2008; ICMEA Exhibition, Shaanxi, China, 2008
  • Awards

  • Charlotte Frazer Prize, 2014; QEST Scholarship, 2012; Shortlisted, Attenborough Prize, 2011; Best Dressed Stand, Earth and Fire, 2011; Arts Council Business Development Grant , 2008; Creative Leicestershire Business Development Bursary, 2008; Design Factory Market Development Bursary, 2008
  • Publications

  • Feature, QEST Magazine, 2014; Feature, Artsthread.com, 2014; 'Wedgwood Artisan', Ceramic Review, 2014; Feature, Charnwood Artslink, 2008; Interview, Last Hours, 2006