Peter Jones Archive
(See also extended and continually expanding Peter Jones site at
Time for a re-appraisal
Peter Jones (b.1917) is a distinguished artist and sculptor, ever-exploratory in many genres, and continuing to create prolifically in advancing years.
Work by Peter Jones is to be found in many public collections,
VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
His work was widely exhibited in solo and group shows, especially from the 1960s to the 1980s:
He has had special commissions for:
and his work has been reproduced and mentioned in:
This page in Musical Pointers is to introduce on the internet examples of the many works by Peter Jones that give us continual pleasure; a comprehensive website is in preparation.
Enquiries to Alexa Woolf
A few examples of work by Peter Jones in various genres
What is Art ?
(a response to the inconsistencies of criticism)
A work of art, it seems to me, is basically something physical, inspired by an emotional impulse. It is personal, self sufficient and, though primarily made for the needs of its creator, available to all.
Feelings give birth to the work of art and afterwards the response of the viewer will be affected by the viewer's own feelings. Ultimately the work can only be judged by feeling and not analysis.
Unfortunately technique is the easiest thing to respond to and is often used as a yardstick for judgment.
Meanings too, although part of a work of art, are only the starting point; the value of the work lies in its complex whole.
All of which suggests to me that both access to and assessment of a work of art can come only through familiarity and sympathy.
Peter Jones 22-1-97.
Photo of Peter Jones painting by Tony Woolf
Peter Jones on Location
from Viewpoint Jan 1996 Vol 4 no 1 p.9 - 11 (received via The Guardian 4 September 2008)
I have always been fascinated by the drama suggested by things industrial and technical, yet I also love the non-urban landscape - the so called natural scene. I love the skies and the way light changes from moment to moment, the crazy exuberance of Spring, the dull stability of Summer, the glories of autumn and grey Winter.
As a child, while still in my pushchair, I remember being taken along the towpath of the Thames near Richmond, where there were at the time some gravel pits. I still vividly remember being intrigued by the working of the 'grab crane' as we called it.
At art school during the thirties I visited Kew Gardens to do some sketching. I was however more interested in the Brentford gasworks across the river and with the resulting work I won my first prize. The construction of the Twickenham and Chiswick bridges about that time were equally fruitful sources of study. I soon decided to develop non-figurative work for the further expression of emotional themes, in addition to my more representational painting, so that my output has always had a variety of approach which I have found very rewarding. At the beginning of the war I worked on the shop floor of a large engineering works before joining the RAF to become a pilot, and this involvement in aviation stimulated an interest which has stayed with me.
One of my most unusual and exciting commissions came in the seventies, when I was asked by the Royal Free Hospital in London to prepare a series of paintings to celebrate their centenary year in 1978. There were half a dozen buildings and I was allowed free rein to choose any th:ng as a subject which took my fancy. This resulted in the production of over 80 examples!
More recently I was asked to produce some paintings of the activities and atmosphere in an engineering works in Rotherham - opportunities for plenty of dramatic compositions. I fear that many SAI members, who are so much concerned with the important work of illustration, may find my own approach to similar subject matter only an unwelcome curiosity.* Aesthetics of course enters into all illustration, but in my own work the physical accuracy of the detail is usually secondary to dramatic effect.
My work on the Petersfield bypass illustrates this point, where I was more concerned to convey the impression given by powerful machines at work and massive structures than to convey, for example, the technical details of earth-moving plant or concrete formwork. Here too I was less interested in the end result than in the actual processes of construction. I produced about 85 paintings in various techniques, and when they were on exhibition they generated a great deal of interest and public response, more so than a series of super-realist pictures might have done (or so I am tempted to believe!). One aspect of this project might be of interest.
Early on it became obvious that it would not be practical to achieve what I had hoped to do by sketching on site, and as a result I took about 250 photographs. It is sometimes considered dangerous to work from photographs. They are not as selective as is the painter's eye, and can lead to paintings of less interest than the photographs themselves. However I found it possible to treat them, as far as detail was concerned, with as little respect as is normally accorded by the painter's eye while concentrating on ways to emphasise the feelings evoked by the scene.
I am not at the moment engaged in anything industrial or architectural but I have recently been looking through the book 'Sutherland - The Wartime Drawings' by Roberto Tassi. Generally I am not especially fond of Sutherland's work, but these studies of steelworks, engineering works and tin mines are, to my mind, the finest things of their kind that I have seen.
Illustrations: Petersfield 1992; "Industry 2" 1995; Petersfield 1992
Peter Jones lives in Hampshire, has exhibited widely, both in one-man and group shows, and has works in several public collections.
(See also extended and continually expanding Peter Jones site at http://www.peterjonesart.co.uk/)