Growing up as a chorister of Lichfield Cathedral School amidst Anglican clergy, resplendent in their elaborately embroidered garments, Doug Jones shows a fascination both with the rich symbolism & iconography of the uniform, and with the relationship between authority & childhood.
For these new installations Jones has painstakingly created a congregation of bishop-like figures, both adult & child sized, their robes edged with vintage trimming and delicately hand embroidered in silk thread sourced from ecclesiastical suppliers to the Vatican. Their designs detail 'vanitas' imagery (referring to the transient nature of life & certainty of death) with symbols such as Alpha Omega, an hourglass, birds, trumpets, steps, lightning, plants and books, and in these works Jones references a journey from cradle to grave in which the boundaries of the playground & sickbed are blurred into ritual & ceremony.
By turns, dark & brooding and irreverent & celebratory, Non sum qualis eram is an exhibition that exploits the surprise effect created by using an established form in a very new way, offering an experience normally impossible, interrupting the continuity of the real.
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