Josh Adam Jones
Josh Adam Jones is British artist and photographer whose work often centres around stories of misrepresented places and the people who live there. From ageing Irish populations in British towns and cities to the expatriate communities of Oman, Josh hopes to facilitate conversations about identity, home and interculturalism through his work. In his most recent ongoing series (Sometimes A Silence Will Cut Through Sounds), Josh explores the therapeutic applications of photography in response to his Grandfather passing away and a family history of mental health problems. He completed a BA (First Class Hons) in Photography in 2018 and is graduating with an MA in Photography at UWE Bristol in 2020.
His work has been displayed at Stal Gallery (Muscat), Copeland Gallery (London), Summerhall (Edinburgh) and featured in publications such as British Journal of Photography, It’s Nice That and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
Sometimes A Silence Will Cut Through Sounds
Last year, my paternal Grandfather passed away. It was the first personal experience of death and the grief that followed. I needed to process this life event somehow, and making this work acted as a form of therapy, helping to alleviate ongoing issues too; our family has a history of mental health problems that have come to the surface in various ways over the years. I have watched first-hand the ways in which it has affected my own Father.
‘Mental illness’ carries the connotation that it can be cured, but I think this to be slightly inaccurate. Rather, it is something that can be helped, made more bearable and easier to manage, but it never really goes away.
This ongoing work is a meditative response to personal struggles of the day-to-day and is a way of therapeutically dealing with problems which usually remain undisclosed. It’s a way of visually and physically making sense of my own inner turmoil, whilst also hoping that others can relate.
With over forty-five percent of the population falling into the expatriate category, Oman is a culturally diverse place that has a strong sense of national pride at its heart. The Middle Eastern country accelerated its social and economic developments in the 1970s, with Sultan Qaboos investing oil revenues into infrastructure, education and healthcare, and has since focussed on tourism as an alternative source of income.
An advertisement for visiting Oman caught Josh’s attention, and throughout 2018-19 he travelled to the capital city of Muscat. Driven by the desire to challenge his own perspective, which had been influenced by Western media, Josh concentrated on the relationships between Omanis and expatriates who live in this Middle Eastern city.
The notion of ‘home’ as a recurrent theme quickly became evident, and the word itself contained a multitude of meanings for different people. Regardless of social status, occupation or nationality, Josh encountered an enormity of pride throughout the country’s populace for the place they call home.
XO is partly a response to Western misconceptions of the Middle East, and misrepresentations of the region’s values and beliefs. The country is peaceful and prosperous; a sanctuary from the conflicts that affect surrounding areas. Alongside making his own photographs, Josh invited people to contribute hand written accounts of their idea of ‘home’ and their experiences of Oman.
Since beginning the project in 2018, XO has been supported by Ffotogallery (Cardiff, U.K.) and British Council.
MA Photography, University of the West of England, (2018-20)
BA Photography (First Class Honours), University of the West of England, (2015-18)
Foundation Art & Design (Level 4), Bristol School of Art, (2014-15)
A-Levels (A, A, A*), Balcarras School, (2011-13)
Mass Isolation FORMAT, Auckland Festival of Photography, Auckland, New Zealand (2020)
The Place I Call Home, Copeland Gallery, London, UK (2020)
The Place I Call Home, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE (2020)
The Place I Call Home, Summer Hall, Edinburgh, UK (2020)
The Place I Call Home, Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman (2019)
Palm* Photo Prize, theprintspace, London, UK (2019)
South West Graduate Photography Prize, Old Truman Brewery, London, UK (2018)
AOP Student Awards, Wex Photo Video, London, UK (2018)
The Pupil Sphere Showcase Spotlight – Selected (2020)
Bar-Tur Photo Student Award – Shortlist (2020)
Bar-Tur Photo Professional Award – Shortlist (2020)
EIZO Student Award – Winner (2019)
Palm* Photo Prize – Shortlist (2019)
Portrait of Britain – Winner (2018)
South West Graduate Photography Prize – Shortlist (2018)
Free Range Awards – Special Mention (2018)
Palm* Photo Prize – Shortlist (2018)
AOP Student Awards – Finalist (2018)
RPS IPE 161 – Shortlist (2018)
The Place I Call Home, Ffotogallery and British Council (2020)
British Journal of Photography, XO (2018)
RPS International Photography Exhibition 161, Shortlist (2018)
Lisa Pritchard Agency
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