This was to be the last exhibition that Jon organised. He exhibited eleven large paintings and Brown Clown which was one of two versions that he had been working on. The pictures as a group together are particularly significant as there are so many strong autobiographical references. When considering them you wonder if Jon had an unconscious urge from deep within to make these eleven paintings reflect all of himself. In them you can see Jon's ideas, his earlier motifs and subject matter, significant experiences from his childhood and teenage years as well as the struggle, pain and joy he had experienced latterly.
The exhibition was organised in Arch 1 Braybrooke Terrace in Hastings. A large empty space next door to Jon's friend and colleague Kate Adam's studio and two doors away from Project Artworks. Jon advertised the 'show' to local artist friends and family but he was fairly low key about it. He and brother Marley who was to provide a sound piece for the exhibition cooked up a large quantity of French onion soup which was served to those who attended.
Rod Harman in his obituary wrote the following about the blue painting which should perhaps remain 'untitled'
'If I was cast away on a desert Island, my ‘luxury request’ would be this painting. It has a slatted purity as wonderful as Jon’s final overcoat made by his brother Tim. As with many of Jon’s paintings it has been reworked – but this adds to the reasons I love it so much. When I first saw it, it was prophetic, like the line from Isaiah “a green shoot out of the dry earth”. So, in effect, I have two for the price of one. It now has the quality and colour of a great Chinese vase – “beauty is something that happens without interest”. It also has a raftlike quality; looking at it I can leave everything behind, escape and drift into a new world. Most of all, I won’t be alone'.
Rod Harman 2007
From Left to Right and Top to Bottom: 1. Brown Clown. (size variable) 2. Untitled. (167x133cm) 3. Untitled. (167x133cm) 4. Orchard Road. (167x133cm) 5. Rubber Ducky. (167x133cm) 6. Baby. (167x133cm) 7. Untitled. (133x167cm) 8. Bromley North. (133x167cm) 9. Untitled. (167x133cm) 10. Untitled. (167x133cm) 11. Sticky. (167x133cm) 12. Untitled. (167x133cm) All of these paintings are Oils on Canvas. No.s 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 were painted in 2006 and No.s 6 8 in 2005
Philip Cole 2015
For what it's worth this is the audio part of the evening rescued from a failed laptop.
It's my own (electronic) audio interpretation of the paintings in the show. Jon wrote me a list of all the titles in 4B pencil.... Something to work with....
Jon never heard it due to a complete technical meltdown on the opening night.
I recovered the files some months later and reassembled the recording.
- the flies and the thunder? - that's pure Bromley North
It's pretty dark though...