Jon England

The Fallen
The Fallen

Digital photographic transparency

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The Fallen (detail)
The Fallen (detail)

Digital photographic transparency

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Wings on my Sleeve
Wings on my Sleeve

RAF cloth badges, sycamore seeds, parachute silk

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The Fallen
The Fallen

Digital photographic transparency

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A graduate of Central St Martin’s (BA Fine Art, 2004), my multi-disciplinary practice centres around the contemporary legacies of historic conflict and industry. Notable projects include ‘Hour Hands’, commissioned by Contains Art, during construction of Watchet’s new £7.5 million East Quay arts centre, and ‘The Fifty’ at the Zagan Palace, Poland, during official 70th anniversary commemorations of the ‘Great Escape’. My collaboration with WWII POW artist Edward Milligan, led to ‘Dual Perspectives’ touring the Institutes of Architecture in Moscow and St Petersburg, while I have been artist in residence at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton and Museum of Somerset.

Website: www.jonenglandartist.com

Instagram: @jonenglandartist

Email: jonnyengland13@hotmail.com

Jon England 72dpi - JON ENGLAND.jpg

Artist Statement

My MA final show forms part of a practice which, at its broadest points, is concerned with how traces of the past are encountered within the present. Primarily exploring the legacies of conflict, I contrast the paradox of my own ‘remembrance’ with the corporeal reality of my collaborators as well as the residual presences inscribed within landscape, artefact, and cultural memory.

 

Concerned with the impossibility of empathy, previous works have employed the tangibility of materials – the humble matter of lives previously lived – to form a link to a remote time or experience. Meticulous research and a highly individual and scientific investigation of process combining to express a specific resonance. The MA however afforded the potential for new experiments in film and photography. The intangibility of light expressing histories that cannot be ‘remembered’ or even remotely imagined.

 

Spiralling into the derelict remains of the World War Two Parachute Store at Westonzoyland Airfield, the propellor forms of sycamore seeds become surrogates for aircraft and airmen, once dispersed into the night sky.

 

The first in a planned series of works, The Fallen, takes witnessing this phenomenon as its stimulus - the seeds cascading through the collapsed roof to the hostile concrete below. The tree from which they fall, acting as a marker of time since the momentous events played out here.

 

Embellished with insignia of gold, thronged masses, sown to the wind, form a hypnotic and seductive spectacle. Their moments of action, fleetingly in focus, contrast the slow entropic nature of this site and the airmen’s traumatic legacy.

 

The Gods-eye-view of military supremacy mutates into precipitous descent and abyss. The tens of thousands of seeds, cast by each tree, become the collateral in a primal and evolutionary struggle for supremacy. Their expedited life cycle, echoing humanity’s perpetual capacity for conflict and inhumanity.