Author(s): Sarah Jones
The photographs of Sarah Jones address established pictorial genres and our associated expectations by paring back space, subject and gesture. This book--the first major monograph on this young British artist--brings together work from an 18-year period, including many photographs never previously published, and looks at the themes and concerns that have remained constants in her work. The sequence of images chosen and arranged by the artist specifically for this publication is informed by Jones' interest in how we see and represent her chosen subjects, using tropes from the stereograph, the double, the still life and portraiture. Jones first gained notice in the late 1990s for her photographs taken in psychoanalysts' consulting rooms. These provocative sites have been explored through her practice over the years, in particular the couches that, in Jones's images, show visible signs of the imprint of the patients who had reclined upon them during consultation. Her well-known later studies of adolescent girls uncomfortably caught in the flash of the camera in domestic settings draw attention to the staged relationship between model, photographer and location. Recent diptychs of horses and rose bushes refer to the viewing of early stereographic prints and explore the potential for photography to reveal uncanny perspectives on a subject. In "The Rose Gardens" series, Jones photographs the front and back of rose bushes in public gardens so that viewers can contemplate both viewpoints simultaneously. Jones' overarching imperative is to look at subjects stripped back to an emotional truth. The imprints on the couches, the view of the roses that are beginning to wilt and the glazed look in the eyes of her models all investigate ideas of beauty and ritualized everyday gesture.