Sunday, April 3, 2011

July Changes by David Jones



July Changes by David Jones

In spite of the title, this translucent watercolour reminded me of Spring. It struck me today, coming back from Durham, as Spring's stages changed with latitude, brought home its dynamism, the latent energy of renewal.

David Jones is one of those quiet poet-painters whose work sits waiting discovery that in more celebratory nations would be articulated to prominence but here is sadly not.

He remains the best chronicler of the First World War, in 'In Parenthesis' in whose trenches he served - both in finding war's meaning and the collapse of that meaning in the second half totalitiy of its brutalities.

He is an 'historic' painter - even the flowers are chosen for their part in our story: a daffodil is never 'just' a daffodil but a connector of story, myth and poetic accumulation. How does this scene or life speak of our unfolding narrative as people and a transcedent one. What is the language of our effective signs that point to where that meaning sits: in God's lap as its creatort and sustainer.

An unworldly figure, he yet commentates on the world at its deepest level.

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