Jonathan’s work is both conceptual and narrative, his processes traditional and hypermodern – hand fabrication, complex casting, drawing, painting, industrial and printing techniques and digital processes all go hand-in-hand.
Jewellery connects with us on a viscerally, emotionally and the objects we choose to have and wear are precious not least because they are imbued with memories. Jonathan sees jewellery as socio-political, an art form essential to understanding our connection to the material world. Through his jewellery, he explores the human experience and tries to understand the actions of language, narrative and communication.
Text and language, from the type letters of his MA degree show to the spiralling words grow and take form through virtual drawing practices of his recent work, have been central to his work and he is increasingly interested in looking at how language and environment overlap, how the city and our environment shape and define us, incorporating into his jewellery imagery and text that he photographs and films across the cityscape.
His 2020 exhibition, Thoughts between the Land and the Sea: Raising Doggerland, explored narratives of identity, language and otherness, politics and rising polarisation on a small and increasingly isolated island that the UK is becoming – or making itself.
In 2019, Jonathan published his Jewellery Manifest in which he discusses and contextualises ten years of his practice, unpicking his thoughts on jewellery, language, the digital and narrative in objects. He draws on philosophical, anthropological and autobiographical discourse using image and textual montage to deconstruct both his jewellery and the printed book format used in presenting his practice.
Jonathan is the Head of Applied Art at the Royal College of Art in London previously he was a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art for 8 years.
His work can be found in the private and public collections internationally, including: The V&A Museum London, Spencer Museum USA, Nelson-Atkins Museum USA, Akansas Arts Centre USA, The Transport Museum Glasgow,The Scottish Parliament,The Goldsmiths Company, The Royal College of Art and Glasgow School of Art.