This artist captures the most spellbinding moments in time; looking out across the Atlantic Ocean from the cliff tops of Cornwall’s West Coast, the summer sun dances across its surface ripples and waves. The famous light of St Ives has inspired many artists in this area and has been the cause and effect of many great modern artworks. It is not hard to envisage that this marvellous spectacle was where Jonathan Michael Ray acquired the inspiration for his strikingly angular, and precisely executed rich blue cyanotype series, Synthetic Blue.
Jonathan’s practiced hand and intelligent eye have travelled from London to Montreal, to Hong Kong and Japan, and now to Cornwall and all of these new encounters, with life on the road, manifest in his work. Each of his pieces are an exploration of time and place, an experience of a moment, a dalliance with our human senses and sensibilities. The artist does not limit himself to a 2-dimensional surface, but continues to consider the space around the work, gifting the beholder with a simulation-like experience, and expanding the joy of seeing. Take for example, Perforated, an urban botanical scene in which we can see how Jonathan has considered the lens through which he wants his audience to experience the work. This technique has previously proven to be the mark of masterful and discerning artists such as Elad Lassry, Haim Steinbach and Anselm Keifer.
The most simply enchanting quality to Jonathan’s work, is that his artwork has the power to transport you. You could be wherever; in an office; at home; in a shipping container, but one glance at his Altar Stone sculptures and you are delivered to the absolute tranquillity of a deserted Victorian churchyard, or more precisely the “personal discovery of a lost shrine to a forgotten ancestor”. Jonathan’s skill is that he is an explorer who will tempt you to accompany him on his meditative journeys.
If you go anywhere this year, go wherever the astonishing artwork of Jonathan Michael Ray takes you.