Thursday, 12 June 2008


Image : Rhys Jones, February 2008

I've been interested by some of the thoughts of French philosopher Jacques Derrida without claiming to understand all of them. In particular his thoughts on secrecy. He describes how a writing desk (secretaire) can be used to lock away papers and then describes how a secretary (or assistant) can be employed to conceal things (his example is Phaedrus who concealed Lysias's speech under his cloak). A 'secretary' can by analogy with 'syllabary' also be an ichnography in which a trace (ichnos) can be collected written or described. At the bottom of traces are secrets.

"Form is a trace of the formless; it is the formless that produces form, not form the formless..." - Plotinus

I have this image in my head of the metal drawers of a filing cabinet containing papers and photographs which can be arranged and re-arranged and locked away. Traces of a person's life which contain secrets just waiting to be found.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Restaurant at the end of the Universe ?

Image : Rhys Jones, April 2008

I'm going through the difficult process of trying to select images and artwork for a group exhibition. The theme is 'Entrance and Exit'. My project involves an exploration through images and a short film of the subject of connectivity and connectedness through time and covers the difficult subject matter of re-incarnation and our journey through life until we get to the exit door that everyone has to face and here I am talking euphemistically about it! It's one of the most challenging things I've had to face artistically - there is no shortage of fine examples to draw upon but this has to be my own thoughts and inspiration. How do we explain life and what happens after death ? Is there any rational explanation ? if we do succeed in explaining something should we cease then to have any interest in it ?

I do like the notion of hitch-hiking through time and space - inspiration from Douglas Adams : comedy always reveals something more serious within..... I feel.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Did Batman live behind the scout hut ?

Image : Rhys Jones, Easter Saturday 2008 - Ashtead Common, Surrey

I used to walk across this common a lot - it was a short cut to the railway station and if you were like me and not good at getting up in the morning then a short cut or two was a necessity. A group of us used to have a 'tranny' and I can remember 'Wonderful Radio 1' being on all the time and T-Rex and the Detroit Emeralds ensuring our lack of popularity with other users of the path and Ashtead station. Great coats were very popular and we cultivated our 'Nick Drake lookalike' personas.

Until 2008 I don't recall ever stopping to take a photograph so I rectified that quickly. Somehow a photo taken by Rhys Jones in 2008 doesn't capture all the memories of the former teenage Rhys Jones in 1973 and the kids we knew, the drunk guy in a bowler hat who used to arrive at 'The Woodman' off the London train, even the guys who attacked me with a fluorescent light tube - but a photo can activate our memories and imagination : maybe Batman and Robin really did live there behind the Scout Hut after all!

So take a photo that means a lot to you and implant your imagination there!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Walking through Time

Image : Rhys Jones, December 2007 - The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset

The period in between Christmas and New Year is a little bit of a no-man's land I always feel. Thoughts about the year past mingle with hopes and maybe some worries and dreams for the year ahead. A good time for a long walk with family and friends and there's no where better than the South West Coastal Path.