Cabinet (Spiral) (2016)
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Cabinet (Spiral) continues Sarah Jones’s ‘Cabinet’ series, in which an arrangement in a shallow field undergoes keen formal scrutiny. Familiar ornamental objects are transformed into a magnificent display inspired by the Olympic torch and flame, drawing closely on the rich legacy of twentieth century Olympic prints and posters. Cabinet (Spiral) is also inspired by photographic history; in early black and white photographic experiments, fine glassware was photographed in order to examine the medium’s ability to render clear materials. Here, Jones’s vibrant palette of glowing yellow, translucent blue, and limpid green references the colours of the iconic Brazilian flag.
Sarah Jones' pared-back photographs are characterised by a subtle but powerful psychological tension. Best known for her images of therapists' couches and of roses from municipal rose gardens, her images typically combine a relatively shallow depth of field and an almost obsessive sharpness of detail with a limited but intense palette. Jones' interest in the notion of mirroring, both as an act of photography and in the psychoanalytic sense, and her fascination with the idea of the camera as an onlooker or a third eye, provoke a consideration of the act of viewing on behalf of both photographer and viewer. "I photograph things front-on with as little direction or intervention as possible," she has said. "It's about stripping everything right back, in a Beckett-like way. If you strip language as far back as you can, strangely, there's often more of it. I want to reveal the workings or truth of something, and that's the starting point."
Sarah Jones was born in 1959 in London. She currently lives and works in London.