amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Non Fiction in partial immersion - Jonathan Polkest

Jonathan Polkest

Lines and Strata
Exhibitions and Events

Pendeen Rain (5th in Exh) 600 mm x 730 mm. wool yarn, cotton twine, acrylic gesso, nylon whipping.

Scillonian Pilot Gig 210mm x 305 mm wool yarns, silk brocade with acrylic gesso on panel.

Echoing Green.
Back to the Old House. (3 in Exh) (Carn Cottage)

January 4th 2011 The Ripley Art Centre Gallery - Non-Fiction

 Partially Immersed. Marlin Caulking Hemp, Denim, acrylic gesso on hardwood panel 360mm x 360mm framed.
 Clochés Pasque.
Two dimensional paintings which are intended as objects: artifices relating to the nature of non fiction via the craft materials linked to the reality of their real existence. Avoidance of materials associated with fine arts practice, Oil Painting the legacy of a Golden Age of discovery, introduced an idealized veneer, a glamourous version of reality. This affected super reality extended into history, science and politics and is continuously referenced to validate theories about the past.
Crafts on the other hand are considered low-art or as archaic remnants of an industrialized societies working practice and yet this is where the "reality" of non-fiction lies for me.
The incorporation of Gesso Paint and craft materials or techniques (for example; embroidery), interferes with the notion of deceiving the eye via sleight of brush or trompe l'eaux.  The work remains linear, arguably figurative but the techniques and materials are prioritized towards my own associations in a frame that acknowledges the true quality of things from an objective yet highly individualized perspective.
Non Fiction takes ideas that may seem slight or obscure and extends their influence as if the whole of existence might rely upon them, that they are not a detail but an overwhelming influence - in a different context perhaps.
Mythology, opinion, pragmatic rituals, processes, crafts, decoration and interpretations derive histories: stories, these works are stories.

The Book of Epona. 255mm x 190mm Latin Dictionary, Oil Impasto, Candlewick twine.  
limed oak glazed frame

 Wheal Fortune Vent.       210mm x 210mm wool yarns, acrylic gesso on flax panel
The Road to Barry.    250mm x 250mm cotton lace,acrylic gesso, new spun wool yarns.

The Runnelstone Beacon.(13th in exH) 620mm x 900 mm black new spun wool yarns, gesso & flax panel.
A30 Rose-An-Grouse 69. (12) 440mm x 470mm Black yarn, embossed synthetic material & gesso.

Let There Be Light  (Fiat Lux)

Cott Valley Carn.(11)  900mm x 660mm. Wool yarns,hemp twine, poplin brocade and acrylic gesso.
detail of Cott Valley Carn showing woollen yarns & hemp twine against gesso grounds.

 PZ 87 Rosebud. 360mm x 410mm. fishing line, sailcloth and panel. unglazed frame.
frottaged drawing of PZ 87 Rosebud on various papers caran d'ache, charcoal or graphite.

Corpus Christy Fair.(6) 850mm x 1200mm. gesso, brocade & woollen yarns

Morvah Cairn.(2)

Non-Fiction; an exhibition of paintings by
Jonathan Polkest at Ripley Arts Centre

1.         Bass Diffusion.
The Bass diffusion model was developed by Frank Bass and describes the process of how new products get adopted as an interaction between users and potential users. It has been described as one of the most famous empirical generalisations in marketing, along with the Dirichlet model of repeat buying and brand choice.[1] The model is widely used in forecasting, especially product forecasting and technology forecasting. Mathematically, the basic Bass diffusion is a Riccati equation with constant coefficients. This work features the bass guitarist of the Prescilla’s band.

2.         Morvah Cairn
Six gold bracelets were found in 1884 during quarrying for building materials at Morvah, on the north-western coast of the Penwith peninsula in Cornwall.
In design, the bracelets bring together two traditions of Bronze Age ornament. The three with 'cupped', or hollowed terminals are distinctly Irish in style; over thirty examples of this type are known from Ireland, while only ten come from Britain. These examples, like many of this type, have a hollow band with a join along the inner curve. They are also decorated with finely executed incised lines. In two cases it is confined to the terminals, but the third has neat geometric panels at intervals around the band.
3.         Back to the Old House.
Prior to the World War 2, West Cornwall generated a number of occult stories Foremost among them was that the Great Beast, Aleister Crowley, stayed at Zennor and founded a cult who alledgedly danced naked around stone circles, and held orgies This was spread by word of mouth and by numerous 'horror' fictions penned by writers like A.L. Rowse, Denys Val Baker, Mary Williams and Frank Baker. Some maintained this decadent coven was directly or indirectly responsible for the death of Katherine Arnold Forster, the former sweetheart of the poet, Rupert Brooke, who died in mysterious circumstances at an allegedly 'haunted' cottage near Zennor Carn in 1938. The location is also close to the studio and former home of Bryan Wynter, an extraordinary and often overlooked St.Ives Artist. The title refers to the vast Cornish diaspora, economic migrants to the tin mines of  the “new world” and the Smiths haunting song.

4.Caer Gybi-Holy Mountain, Holy Island. A splendid panorama can be enjoyed from Holyhead Mountain (710ft/216m), on the top of which are a fort and the remains of a small chapel (the only survivor of six or seven which originally stood here). These chapels are said to have earned the island its name of "Holy"; but this interpretation could refer to a type of pagan sacred status  in earlier times the local people were and continue to be proudly  Welsh speaking,.An exceptional effect of scale is imposed upon the visitor to this magical site.
5.Pendeen Rain  A large natural cave named 'Pendeen Vau', the entrance of which is to be found on a cliff. Apparently this cave is vast, going far below & into the sea but its existence is disputed. Below Boscaswell is an area known as 'The Craft' which is mostly overgrown by gorse, fern and brambles, although many pathways exist. Here can be found abandoned mine buildings dating from the 19th century (including wash houses, engine houses and arsenic baths).
Pendeen boasts three beaches although some are more accessible than others. The largest of them was for many years the home of a wrecked ship until the army decided to clear the wreck as a ballistic exercize. Below Pendeen Lighthouse cliffs can be found the wreck of 'The Liberty', although most of it has now been eroded away but the sea parts of the wreck are still visible at low tide on  'Liberty Rock' which is a favourite fishing spot.
6. Corpus Christy Fair.  The Feast Day of Corpus Christi is celebrated in Penzance and elsewhere. The Corpus Christi fair has been a long standing event in the town, and  retains a timeless circus-like atmosphere . The whirling carousels mirroring the cyclic fortunes of us all.
7.Eastern Green Horseman. After the Dacian Wars, Dacians were recruited into the Roman Army, and were employed in the construction and guarding of Hadrian's Wall in Britannia, or elsewhere in the Roman Empire. Several Cohors Primae Dacorum ("First cohort of Dacians") and Alae Dacorum fighting in the ranks of the Legion were stationed at Deva (Chester), Vindolanda (on the Stanegate) and Camboglanna (Birdoswald Fort or Castlesteads), in Britannia. The image is about the migration of cultural aspects in our daily lives coming from divergent origins.
8.Tangyes Bicycle  Richard Tangye was born at Illogan, near Redruth, Cornwall, the son of a farmer, young Tangye was sent to the Quaker Sidcot School in the Mendip Hills near the village of Winscombe, Somerset, The big break for him and  his brothers came in 1857 when renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel required special machinery to help launch his enormous SS Great Britain – the largest ship ever constructed at the time.
Brunel had great difficulty solving the problem of how to launch the vessel, but in the end, Tangye launched the Great Eastern and the Great Eastern launched Tangye (so the saying goes).
The Tangye brothers came to Brunel’s aid with powerful hydraulic jacks, and the company flourished. Tangye machinery was later used to install Cleopatra’s Needle in London (1878)
Tangye equipment was also used to construct Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia (1932), sections of Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction motorway interchange (1972) and the London Thames Barrier . The Tangye Bicycle is now in Truro Museum.
9.         SS 19 Ripple
Ripple's story started in 1896 in St Ives where she was first registered after Henry Trevorrow had completed building her on the beach in St Ives harbour. The virtually unique historical boat is a project to create a working sailing lugger and to introduce generations to this almost forgotten activity, the restoration work – from which this image features – is now complete .
10. Paris 1977.
 Relation in Movement is based on a challenge, although, unlike a lot of previous performances by Marina Abromovic  this challenge was about stamina. In Relation in Movement, Ulay and Abramovic drive round and round in a circle inside a city square in Paris. Ulay is behind the wheel, while through the open window Abramovic is shouting out the number of completed laps through a megaphone  The van keeps on driving. In the meantime it has become pitch black, and only the light from the headlamps is still visible. When the sun comes up again a black circle of tyre marks has appeared. They consistently keep to the same circle. In contrast to most of their other performances, there is no designated audience to witness the event, only the camera and the casual passer-by.
10.   Cott Valley Carn. Cornish stone has been an important resource since the earliest times. Six thousand years ago during the Neolithic period axes were being made from high quality greenstone dug from Cornish quarries. These axes were exported from Cornwall and have been found as far away as East Anglia. Prehistoric stone circles and megalithic chambered tombs were built from massive granite stones found lying on the moors. Bronze Age farmers in the Cornish uplands used moorstone taken from the surface to build their homes and to divide up the land into fields.
12.   A30 Rose-An-Grouse.
The A30 was a compact car produced by Austin Motor Company in the 1950s. Introduced in 1951 as the "New Austin Seven", it was Austin's answer to the Morris Minor. At launch the car cost £507, undercutting the Minor by £62.00. The A30 is also the road that leads from Cornwall to London passing through the village of Rose-An-Grouse, this was to be the location where the two distinct attributes; car and road were to collide with me involved.
13.   The Runnelstone Beacon
There are a pair of cone-shaped navigation markers on Gwennap Head, in line with the Runnelstone buoy. These are day markers warning vessels of the hazard of the Runnel Stone. The cone to the seaward side is painted red and the inland one is black and white. When at sea the black and white one should always be kept in sight in order to avoid the submerged rocks nearer the shore. If the black and white cone is completely obscured by the red cone then the vessel would be directly on top of the Runnel Stone. The black and white landmark was erected by the Corporation of Trinity House in 1821 - an event recorded on a plaque on the back of the marker. At 3pm, 8 October 1923 the 6,000 ton SS City of Westminster bound from Belfast to Rotterdam with a cargo of South African maize knocked the top of the reef clean off. A total of 72 people were taken off by the Sennen and Penlee lifeboats. Today the remains lie in 30m of water, jammed into a gully on the eastern side of the stone

The works in this exhibition are generally craft based although they are paintings, and their quality is unpainterly. The images are of objects and real locations or situations, some of them quite domestic.
The idea behind embroidering the linear motifs through the painting was born from an idea to attempt making an ordinary line into a more urgent mark penetrating beyond the surface of the painting.
The stitched line casts a shadow as well as being imbued with less kinetic qualities which react to varying light sources


Exhibitions and Events

Here you can find information on past, present and future events at the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery, Bangor
Gregynog Press  November 20-15 January
The private press of Gregynog are renowned for producing limited edition books of exeptional quality. Using traditional techniques of fine letterpress printing, hand-binding and hand-made papers the books are illustrated by leading artists and engravers. Recent publications will be displayed and limited edition prints by Colin See-Paynton, Rigby Graham and Hilary Paynter will be for sale.
Artists’ Books  November 20- 15 January
Unique hand-made books by artists Becky Adams, Emma Hobbins and Alison Mercer. Each artist combines text, images, ephemera and memories to create one-off or small limited edition books. These are items that will captivate and are to treasure.
Lines and Strata January 22-5 March
Lines and Strata presents a cross-section of contemporary drawing practice from artists born in, living or working in Wales. From open submission, works of every medium were selected by artists Carole King, Diane Walkey and Glenn Ibbitson

Cwm Bychen, Nant Mor a part of the Lines and Strata Exhibition at Bangor 

The Sketchbook Project: 2011 


  1. Jonathan these are quite wonderful. I had no idea the extent and range of your artistry. Good luck with exhibition if it's still happening. And Happy New Year of course. Maybe spot you when we're in for graduation on Thursday. xx mark

  2. Your art is breathtaking and simply awesome. One of the best art blogs out there, and I've seen a lot. I love your corporation of mixed media and ability to make lots of textures. I will be following this site! Beautiful inspiring work.