Doug Jones: Alieni Iuris (from somebody else's authority)

26 Mar 2011 – 14 May 2011

Event times

Open daily 12 - 8pm

Cost of entry


mac birmingham

Birmingham, United Kingdom


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Doug Jones: Alieni Iuris


Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Ecclesiastes 1:2 Through the unlikely media of ceramics and cross stitch, artist Doug Jones astutely examines many of the key social and political issues of our time, such as class, gender, sexuality and economics. His work also touches on more essential themes, of ritual, mortality and humanity's endless search for meaning. In the installation Inservi Deo et Laetare (Serve God and be Cheerful) the artist introduces us to the remarkable lives of the fictional Brotherhood of Saints. The Saints, whose clothing is beautifully hand made by the artist, are both mysterious and ridiculous, exploring serious issues of drug abuse and gay rights through dark humour and bathos. Coena Pro Viginta (Dinner for Twenty) is an elaborate table setting inspired by ‘Dinner for One', a comedy sketch written by Lauri Wylie in the 1920s. The sketch contains many of the traits which make up Jones' work, from slapstick humour, to insightful contemplation of class, labour, hierarchy and ceremony. These themes are continued in his cross stitch works, which emphasise the domestic focus of his works. Through his laborious embroidery process Jones highlights the difference between the time, skill and labour invested in the production of such items, and their monetary worth.

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