A year long perspective of Robert Jones sculptures observing the change of nature and light in the stunning Milntown gardens
Robert Jones, Ramsey based sculptor, is displaying a number of his pieces of work on the Milntown Estate during the 2017 Gardens Season. Seven of Rob’s pieces are of abstract form, reflecting shapes and forms often found in nature; others lean towards an industrial form as in the piece “Punk” which has been carefully placed near Milntown’s water wheel.
Rob collects steel from all across the island mainly from industrial works and sites, but also up-cycles machinery and tools that had a previous life.
From the onset of this scheme Rob has collaborated with Garden Manager, Adam Quayle, and says “I’ve very much enjoyed the three hard weeks of installation, finding Adam’s enthusiasm and ideas to be extremely useful”.
Rob, who on leaving school served as an apprentice carpenter and then joiner in the building trade on the Isle of Man for over 20 years, has always had a passion for art and traditional crafts. He began sculpting in earnest in 2011 and gains inspiration from his artistic family and friends that he grew up with, but also the likes of Sir Anthony Caro, Henry Moore and Manx sculptor Michael Sandle RA who has become both a mentor and close friend of Rob’s over the years he has known him.
Rob says of his work “My art comes from a feeling when the shapes I’m forming together start to feel right, they balance! I don’t always start with an idea in mind, rather I go at it with a completely open mind and enjoy where the process takes me. Steel like stone is a pretty tough material to manipulate, so sometimes, as in the piece aptly named “Twisted”, I let the curved forms dictate to me how a piece should evolve. There’s no point fighting this stuff, it’s tough! If I can use a shape that’s existing, then I will. The human mind is a bank of feelings, desires, flash images that are almost subliminal, they’ve come and gone as I am working on a piece, and amid all the heat and danger that goes with such work, they disappear as quickly as they came, having served their purpose or not.”
Michael Sandle RA and Sayle Gallery patron believes Rob to be “a very gifted, hardworking and serious sculptor.” He goes on to say he hopes that the importance and value of the work will be appreciated and understood.
Rob has exhibited at the Sayle Gallery and Erin Arts Centre. In 2014 he received a grant from the Isle of Man Arts Council to support a new series of sculptures, as part of the Isle of Culture celebrations. Many of this new series can be seen at Milntown today.
The exhibition of Robert Jones’ work has been proudly supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.
Rob’s sculptures join other existing pieces on the Milntown Estate including two dinosaurs by Matt Crabbe which have been kindly loaned by the organisers of Mannifest; a series of woodland games and benches by joiner Jason McNee and 5 giant woven willow dragonflies on the Milntown Pond created by John Dog Callister.
The Milntown Gardens opened for the 2017 season on Saturday 18th February. They are open daily (excluding Tuesdays) from 10am-5pm. Entrance to the gardens costs £3.50 per adult (£2.50 concessions, £1 per child). Season tickets are available for £14 per person.
House Tours will commence at Easter every Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at 2.30pm.
Photography by Simon Park.
For more information regarding Rob Jones please call 07624 400 440 or visit robertjonessculptures on Facebook.