JONAH JONES’S SCULPTURE – 1940s and 1950s
While Jonah’s first essay in sculpture was a remarkably accomplished miniature nude female torso carved in olive wood in 1945, it was not until he had undergone training in stone carving at the Eric Gill workshop in 1950 that he felt ready to engage seriously with the medium. From 1952 on, whenever he had a gap in the flow of commissions, he would work on his own creative ideas. These would result in small-scale sculptures, often made with stone that he had found or had been brought by friends.
Jonah produced at least 30 of these works during this period. In the earliest of these works, Classical roots are evident, as well as a certain debt to Eric Gill. Later in the decade the influence of the German Expressionist Ernst Barlach can be seen, with stylised, dramatic gestures. In many of the works the rich colour of the material is used to good effect. Often the sculptures of this decade are rough-hewn, with the claw marks of the chisel still visible. He referred to them later as “little primitive stone-carvings”: “they were quite outside art school work, they were simply me, on them I learned and soldiered.”
CERFLUNIAETH JONAH JONES – 1940au a 1950au
Mor gynnar â 1945 oedd ymgais gyntaf Jonah mewn cerfluniaeth – torso bychan menyw wedi’i gerfio o bren olewydd, darn hynod o fedrus. Er gwaethaf hyn ni theimlodd yn barod i ymgymryd o ddifrif â’r cyfrwng nes iddo gael hyfforddiant mewn cerfio maen yng ngweithdy Eric Gill ym 1950. O 1952 ymlaen, pryd bynnag y bu seibiant mewn llif comisiynau, gweithiodd Jonah ar ei syniadau creadigol ei hun. Cerfluniau ar raddfa fechan oedd y canlyniad, yn aml wedi’u llunio o gerrig yr oedd wedi’u darganfod neu ’roedd cyfeillion wedi rhoi iddo fe.
Cynhyrchodd Jonah o leiaf 30 o’r gweithiau yma dros y cyfnod hwn. Gwelir gwreiddiau Clasurol yn y darnau cynharaf, ynghyd â rhywfaint o ddyled i Eric Gill. Nes ymlaen yn y degawd mae dylanwad y Mynegiadwr [Expressionist] Almaenig Ernst Barlach i’w weld, gyda symudiadau steiliedig, dramatig. Defnyddir lliw cryf y deunydd yn effeithlon iawn. Mae cerfluniau y degawd yma yn aml yn fras naddedig, gydag olion crafangau’r cŷn yn weladwy. Cyfeiriodd atynt nes ymlaen fel “little primitive stone-carvings”: “they were quite outside art school work, they were simply me, on them I learned and soldiered.”