House & Garden
Charleston Lewes is currently hosting through the joy of the senses an exhibition by contemporary artist Jonathan Baldock. The solo show explores Baldock’s fascination with sculptural form, craft traditions, and folklore. The selection resonates with Lewes’s historical and cultural context, weaving a narrative inspired by the town’s rich folklore, myths, and legends.
Sussex, located just an hour from central London, has historically served as a retreat for those seeking respite, whether for short getaways or extended stays. In the early 20th century, the influential Bloomsbury Group frequented Charleston in Firle, where they collaboratively shaped new perspectives on art and life. The Charleston Trust, preserving the Bloomsbury legacy, has recently introduced Charleston Lewes, a hub for cultural enthusiasts.
As part of its very first cycle of exhibitions Charleston Lewes is presenting Jonathan Baldock’s exploration of the threshold of home and garden inspired by the Bloomsbury group’s house and garden at Charleston in Firle. In this place between internal and external worlds, Baldock’s imaginary land is populated with surreal characters whose forms echo the botanical, biological and spiritual created using natural materials such as clay, hessian, wicker, and wool.
Best known for his use of diverse materials to narrate stories, Jonathan Baldock, a versatile artist working in sculpture, installation, and performance, often incorporates biographical elements into his creations. His exploration of themes like trauma, sensuality, mortality, and spirituality delves into the relationships between the body, space, and materials. By removing the functional aspects of ceramic and fabric, Baldock transforms his work into a performative experience, engaging viewers in a ritualistic questioning of the object, the space, and their simultaneous existence.
Words by Fabzirio Mifsud Soler
The exhibition “Jonathan Baldock: through the joy of the senses” is open until January 7, 2024, at Charleston in Lewes.
Images: Jonathan Baldock: through the joy of the senses at Charleston in Lewes, 2023. Photography © Above Ground Studio.
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