John is in a love triangle: painting, the Mediterranean and his wife, Ama. All were present at Bell House in April where local artist Jukes Johnson showed his painting, prints and ceramics.
One outstanding work was “Gutenberg is dead”, a clever work based on a wooden printer’s tray which in a pre-digital age would have been a tool for typesetting lettering. “The story of the piece is about what newspapers tell you”, explains Jukes, and it’s full of allusions to what we now call ‘fake news’ such as the king’s new clothes and the flying soul of Gutenberg.
In conversation with Jon Sharples, Johns’ curator and supporter, he described having an art exhibition of one’s work as “rather like undressing in public”. Although John Jukes Johnson has a wealth of anecdotes and stories that inspired his art, he is much more comfortable hearing what stories his art invokes in others.
The exhibition was well attended and about 40 people came along to hear John’s experience as a local artist pursuing his creativity later in life and casting himself as a “citizen of the world”. His work captures moments of his life experiences and John recalls what Picasso once told his father, “that’s what my life is - the film strips of my life.” He first got into producing art when when his acupuncturist suggested he should “draw!”
But Jukes wanted to do a lot more than just drawing - learning about printing, pottery, and glazing. John Sharples pointed out that John Jukes’ career has exemplified the Bell House motto of pursuing “wider learning”.
John Jukes Johnson’s exhibition is on at Bell House until 14th of April from 10-5pm.