Thursday, October 4, 2012

Amongst the Trees

It was a privilege to welcome Tim Jones to Ararat Regional Art Gallery on Thursday 20 September 2012 to officially open his exhibition, 'Amongst the Trees' with an artist’s talk. Tim's exhibition features sculptures and exquisite wood engraved prints from the mid 1980s to today, plus two small tapestries on loan from the Australian Tapestry Workshop.

At the exhibition opening Tim spoke to an appreciative audience about his journey as an artist. In attendance were many people who had recently participated in his workshops in Halls Gap, presented through Grampians Brushes.  Tim spoke about his lifelong interest in art which developed as a child growing up in North Wales. As a small boy Tim spent hours with his father, who was a woodwork teacher and restorer of Gypsy caravans, learning about Celtic history and Romany life. His father also introduced him to the art of wood engraving, and he subsequently received a Christmas gift of print making tools, ink and boxwood in which to engrave his imagery.

As a young adult Tim studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic, where he further developed his skills as a wood engraver. He had an enduring fascination with Australia, and after completing his tertiary studies in England he arrived in Australia in 1983, enrolling in postgraduate studies at the Victorian College of the Arts. He soon established his reputation as one of the most accomplished printmakers working in Australia.

Aside from trips back to Wales and a stint in New York in the mid 1980s as a studio assistant to renowned English painter, John Walker, Tim has lived in Australia, establishing a home and studio at Hanging Rock in central Victoria in the 1990s. His move to Hanging Rock transformed his practice, and he abandoned urban scenes and cityscapes and rekindled his childhood interest in nature. His personal iconography combines layers of cultural influences and life experiences and his images of trees and forests are alternately Welsh or Australian, and sometimes a combination of both.

Tim Jones is represented in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. He is well known for his public art commissions in Western Victoria including ‘Scar Tree’ (2003) in Horsham, and most recently, ‘The Seafarers Tree’ (2012) in Port Fairy. ‘Amongst the Trees’ continues to 28 October 2012.