Jonathan Ellery

Jonathan Ellery’s clarity of thought and the concise arrangement of his ideas resonate through all areas of his art practice. He works across a wide range of media from sculpture to performance, film to photography. The medium of book art is also central to his work, moulding paper, fonts and images as he would any other medium, to create tactile, hand numbered, objects of art.

The foundation for Ellery’s conceptual approach is the commonplace concerns of life, that of memories, his childhood, his relationship with women, his family, with politics and more recently with religion, which on first glance appear disguised in a seemingly surreal, minimalist aesthetic.

The concept of his work is constant while the materials come and go, from traditional Portland stone and machined brass to digital technology and sound, from spun aluminium and cast iron to photography. The notion of sequence and of a gentle, unfolding narrative is at the core of his art, enforcing a distinctive Ellery language that offers each work as one part of a continuous and burgeoning series, strengthened by its succession. The deceptive simplicity of the work is informed by Ellery’s awareness of the absurd, a delight in constructing certain orders and exploring the tensions between them; a church next to the Twin Towers, a church next to Ground Zero, a golden bull next to St Paul’s Cathedral, a giant cock ring next to a man of the cloth. These frictional couplings are used as tools to address the questions of daily life, forcing the viewer to build an imaginative construction of meaning.