As a sculptor, Robert Jones has been inspired by the industrial and rural landscapes of the Isle of Man. He started his working life helping on a farm in the north of the Isle of Man as a boy. On leaving school he served a traditional apprenticeship as a carpenter and joiner and has worked for himself in the building trade in the Isle of Man for twenty years, developing a passion for traditional crafts and materials. For the past ten years he has specialised in the conservation and restoration of old buildings using traditional techniques.
Robert has been interested in art since childhood and has worked in many different media but has found his niche in sculpting. He has been sculpting actively since 2011, drawing on his experiences of working in the Manx landscape and bringing them together in his body of work. Using fragments of the Isle of Man’s natural and man-made past, Robert has created sculptures drawing on human and material life histories. Derelict machinery and abandoned materials are resurrected in new forms as monuments to their history. The shapes in many of the works are also heavily influenced by human anatomy.
Robert’s first solo exhibition “Amalgams” at The Sayle Gallery, Isle of Man in June and July 2014, presented a series of sculptures bringing together a range of different materials. In “Observer”, burnt timber is combined with beaten copper. In “Mantis”, beams from an old barn and modern building girders are coupled with the drive shafts of agricultural machinery. In “Sentinel” slate lintels are set with bronze and steel. This exhibition moved to the Isle of Man Airport in October 2014.
More recent work focusses on steel as the main medium.
Robert has shown pieces in other galleries in the Isle of Man, including The Isle Gallery, St John’s, Gallery 42 in Port St Mary and the Erin Arts Centre, Port Erin. He has received support from the Isle of Man Arts Council.
In recent years, Robert has also worked on the restoration and maintenance of public art, most recently carrying out the repatination of two large public bronze sculpturesby internationally renowned sculptor Michael Sandle.
Robert has a long term aim of taking sculpture out into the public arena of the Isle of Man and internationally, bringing art to a wider audience.