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Jonathan Michael Ray

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Up Against The Rocks, 2018

Jonathan Michael Ray (b.1984) lives and works in St Ives, Cornwall. Informed by the act of looking, Jonathan’s art practice largely comprises of works in video, photography, drawing, print and installation.

"The work I make has always been contingent upon, and deeply linked to my surroundings, and I am continuously referencing the landscape, history and environment around me. I see all objects and places as imbued with a sense of memory, and I’m especially drawn to those which seem to have lost their exact meaning, or appear flat and are easily overlooked.

By breaking down the process by which we see things, and addressing the things that remain unseen, my work focusses on looking beyond what we look for when we look. This comes from thinking that if I take the time to look at everything equally, and indeed, more so at the things that get forgotten, then I may be able to make some sense of this world and all the things that surround us".

Jonathan studied a BA Hons in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and subsequently an MFA in Fine Art Media at Slade School of Fine Art, London.

He was artist in residence at HKBU, Hong Kong, in 2016 and he has been awarded the Porthmeor Studios Graduate Workspace Award supported by the European Regional Development Fund, via Cultivator, 2018-19.


Floorr Magazine Interview

Selected Shows 

It sounds like it weighs a ton, Garden Walk, London (2018)
Beneath and Between, White Crypt Gallery, London (2017)
Material Light, Kochi Biennial, India (2017)
Clifford Chance Postgraduate Printmaking Exhibition, Clifford Chance, London (2016)

White Cube Staff Show, White Cube Gallery, London (2016)
Peckham Arts Festival 2016 – SE15, London (2016)

Floating Worlds, Safehouse1, London (2016)
A Cave With A View, Charlton Gallery, London (2016)
Making Do, Slade School of Fine Art UCL, London (2016)
Slade MA / MFA Graduate Degree Show, Slade School of Fine Art UCL, London (2016)
Imagine, Londonewcastle Arts Program, London (2015)
Nuit Blanche - Fête d’art forain contemporain, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada (2014)

Le Studio Show, Galerie Bifurski, Montréal, Canada (2013)
Topographie, Galerie Les Territoires, Montréal, Canada (2012)


No memory of ... luton, 2018


An Acquisition of an Accumulation, 2017

Time At Hogchester Arts

Residency period - November 2019

Two weeks on residency at Hogchester Arts were perfect for me. After recently completing a major project overseas, I was in need of some simple quiet time, an opportunity to switch off from the demands of everyday life and a chance to reconnect with my practice and myself. The ethos and location of Hogchester gave me the perfect opportunity to reflect, explore and play. 


My days were packed from early to late, spending my time doing whatever my heart desired: digging up and processing clay, visiting chalk quarries, walking and exploring the historic coastline, discovering the stories of a local saint and her pilgrims (still enshrined, and a day’s walk from the studio), meeting and learning from a neighbouring stone sculptor, frequenting every antique shop and reclamation yard in the area and tracking down a man who specialises in the milling and seasoning of wind fallen trees. Everyday, I was meeting people and learning something new and I came away with a van full of material and headful of ideas, completely refreshed and wholly inspired. 


Staying in the cottage was luxury, but I particularly enjoyed spending a few cold yet beautiful nights sleeping in the yurt with only a book, my dog Fossil, and a wood burning stove for company. The makeup of the Hogchester landscape is remarkable and I loved starting each day with a long walk through the fields and along the river. It is a place of rare and simple beauty thanks to the on-going conservation and rewilding efforts at Hogchester Farm.


Chantal did a wonderful job partnering me alongside Hollie Miller for the residency, who was focused and creatively engaging. It was great to learn from Hollie as her ideas and process unfolded over the weeks.


Many thanks to Chantal, who is a perfect and most generous host— so easy with her space and time. It was a fun time away and I’m thankful to Chantal and her family for welcoming us into their world for a couple of weeks. 


I completely recommend this residency for every artist who loves the outdoors and nature and is looking for time and space to focus and experiment in context to this place and this landscape. 



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