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Artist In Focus: Jonah Jones
This exhibition is an introduction to the work of Jonah Jones (1919-2004) and explores his own statement that the written word in its various forms was central to his art and his life.
Jonah Jones was born on Tyneside into a family of miners. A self-taught artist, he came to Wales in 1948.
After training as a sculptor and letter-cutter in Eric Gill’s old workshop at Pigotts, he lived at Pentrefelin, in Caernarfonshire, moving in 1966 to a new house he had built overlooking the estuary of the Afon Dwyryd, near Portmeirion. In his later years he settled in Llandaff, Cardiff.
While inscriptions cut in stone were at the heart of his practice, his work as a sculptor ranged from monumental figures (including those on the North-West corner of this building) and large abstract reliefs to portrait busts and small carved figures.
He also turned his hand in the 1960s to stained glass and mosaic murals. Throughout his life he worked in watercolour, turning in his last years to painted texts.
As an artist and craftsman, Jonah made letters that formed words.
He was himself a writer, and he had many literary friends. In middle age he became an educator, serving as Director of Ireland’s National College of Art and Design.
As a profoundly religious man he was inspired by the word of God, and as a Welsh patriot he loved the sounds and stories of the Welsh language.