In his late twenties, the artist David Jones spent two years (1922-24) living in the village of Ditchling, East Sussex, with the community of Catholic craftsmen founded by Eric Gill. Ninety-odd years later, Sussex hosts two celebrations of David Jones’ work in concurrent exhibitions at Pallant House Gallery, in Chichester, and at the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.
These are excellent opportunities to see the work of one of (to my mind) Britain’s great Christian artists (let’s leave discussing what that term means for another post).
The Pallant House exhibition offers an overview of Jones’ career, whilst the display at Ditchling focuses on Jones’ depictions of animals. In both there are plenty of examples of traditional Christian subjects, but beyond these, Jones’ work is infused with a sense of the visionary and spiritual in the every day, in landscapes, and so on.
Like Blake, whom he much admired, Jones was a painter…
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