The renovated Ripple Newlyn 2005
© 2013 Jonathan Polkest
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Jonathan Polkest is a visual artist practising in several disciplines in Cornwall and London U.K.
Born and educated in the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, U.K. attended Redruth School of Art, and later M.A.Fine Art at London University. Exhibited extensively in the U.K.,Sweden,Switzerland,Scotland,Biejing China and a spell of working and exhibiting in Australia.
Work is generally figurative tending towards painting although Drawing is held as the mainstay of practise to date. This categorisation has been purposefully challenged by the inclusion of photographic processes in Jonathan Polkests portfolios. Exhibitions comprising of photographic work have been few but well recieved; Pinhole photography and time delay processes most notably. Installation works bridge this chasm of formats, particularly the Drawing Booth entitled Draw Me - Tedna Ve , the latter being the Cornish language translation of Draw Me. The booth is a camera obscura designed for portraiture and produces a pared down portrait of the sitter in about a minute or so via the artist sitting in the darkened part of the booth.A recent construction shown in the Bath Fringe Festival was Mandlebrots Accumulator; an abacus with only one bead counter.
Exhibitions featuring Cornwall or Cornish culture have predominated over Jonathan Polkests career although much of the early figurative work looks at museum exhibits with a particular eye, re-presenting and re-representing works in an historical context continues to prevail throughout the artists cannon.
Most recently exhibitions in Sweden and Norway examine the poetry of Cornish Poet Jack Clemo in watercolour work with a stoical survey of Jack Clemos life in the Clay Moors of Cornwall.
There are elements of this same approach with the recent Sliced White Gallery show entitled Hevelepter wherein the Polkest works took on the use of a textile contrast in large, confident somewhat allegorical pieces which referred to artists Chris Burden and to Marina Abromovic and Josef Bueys. The re-representing was also a large element in the photographic exhibition and book A Minute of Time, The famouse Koudelka image of the raised wristwatch payed tribute to Koudelka and the gesture.
The environmental site-specific work is best epitomised by the Finnesterre work, a shrine to a miscelaneous celtic awareness was consructed and erected at Chapel Porth near Porth Curnow at the South Westerly tip of Cornwall when the tide was low, the work was filmed being engulfed by the tide and was a response to the withdrawal of the name FINNESTERRE which the B.B.C. and Meterological Office renamed FITZROY, thus thoughtlessly erasing an essential concept in Celtic Cultures;that of the End of Land, a complex idea combining time and location.
The work of Jonathan Polkest can be seen in various locations, the emerging work entitled GOTHVOS will be found all over Cornwall as the work leaves a little marker for each photograph taken in each locale
Studios of Jonathan Polkest