Ella Jones About Her Work

Ella Jones About Her Work

My paintings use Cubism to explore the tensions and contradictions between race and class in South- East London, the community in which I grew up. Presenting these histories alongside those of Cubism, I highlight Cubism’s own relationship with Colonialism, moving back and forth between history and the present, the centre and the periphery, challenging the Cubist form whilst pushing it to represent more.

I first joined the Unpack residency in March 2020 hoping to explore the de-Colonial Modernism of Wifredo Lam. I spent two weeks exploring Havana and settling in before Coronavirus hit and I had to leave the country!

After two years, I was finally able to return to the residency in November 2022. Whilst it was frustrating waiting, I was able to return knowing what to expect and what I wanted to accomplish. Much has changed in Cuba since my last visit; however, I was able to hit the ground running and get straight into working. In my first three weeks I have attended a two-day conference on race and gender, visited the national gallery twice with the curator Dannys Montes de Oca and once with an esteemed curator from Brazil, visited many galleries, attended openings and met with artists and curators. Most importantly I have been able to spend time in the studio, working on a painting which is taking form in response to these experiences and what I am learning along the way. In a short amount of time, the residency is already pushing my work in new directions, and I am excited to continue the journey.

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