TREVOR JONES @ UNIONgallery
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of writing a few words to accompany a series of paintings by contemporary Scottish painter, Trevor Jones. The four works, which depict four painted QR codes, are currently on display at the UNIONgallery in Edinburgh as part of the Mark of Beauty exhibition curated by Bill Hare.
The short essay, Virtual Enlightenment, which you can read by clicking here, discussed my synesthetic response to the works and how this helped me to verify my perception of them within an art historical context. The title I chose for this piece was drawn from the product of an analysis between Jones’ paintings and the theory behind the portraiture of Sir Henry Raeburn, after whom one of the paintings is named.
If you have a QR code scanner on your smartphone, you can scan the photograph of the painting above now. From here, you are redirected to a page on the Mark of Beauty website which provides information on the enlightenment painter, the chance to comment on the painting, a twitter feed displaying what other viewers have to say about it (by using the hashtag – #markofbeauty) and a Flickr stream displaying the latest submissions from other artists who have provided an image of their own mark of beauty as a visual comment. This virtual gallery currently has over 600 works within it. It is, therefore, as the Scotsman predicted last month, the largest exhibition in the festival. A digital slideshow of these submissions accompanies the real paintings in situ. The website you may be looking at now is exactly the same one which you would reach if you were to scan the real oil painting when visiting the exhibition.
The collaborative nature of this work is what makes it so innovative. The utilisation of social media to this degree sparks questions regarding ownership and authorship. Jones’ four paintings are never fixed or static objects and they do not really exist in the real world. Their colourful facade is simply an entrance to their true existence on the web and, simultaneously, in the minds of those who have responded to them either through words or pictures. These paintings are, therefore, an indication of an exciting new ultramodern chapter in the history of Scottish visual art.
You can see the four paintings at the Mark of Beauty exhibition at the UNIONgallery, Edinburgh. This runs until the 3rd of September. For more information on the exhibition follow this link: http://www.uniongallery.co.uk/index.php/exhibitions/ For more information on Trevor Jones, check out his website here: http://www.trevorjonesart.com/home.html