Edinburgh-based Jonathan Owen exhibits at Ingleby Gallery

'Eraser drawings' created by rubbing out characters from film stills in books

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Edinburgh-based Jonathan Owen exhibits at Ingleby Gallery

‘Acts of careful vandalism,’ is the attractive phrase Jonathan Owen uses to describe the works of art he creates. His ‘eraser drawings’, says the Edinburgh College of Art graduate, who hails from the north of England, are created by rubbing out characters from film stills in books. ‘The process is like a kind of two-dimensional carving,’ he says. ‘Imperfections and glitches are inevitable, and there's a degree of improvisation taking place within these simple parameters. The actor's image isn't rubbed out to leave a blank shape in the image, but erased gradually to form the background details of the scene they once inhabited.’

He uses a similarly adaptive process on his sculptures, which are 19th century statues that have been further carved by his own hand. ‘They were made originally to represent dynamic or powerful figures,’ he says. ‘I wanted to remove or lessen these qualities in a way which didn't destroy the objects, which allowed them still to have a recognisable human form. As with the eraser drawings, these things are made by taking away. The same process that was used to make the statue, by someone else in a different century, is re-activated and continued, producing a new proposition.’

Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 1 Mar–Sat 19 Apr

Jonathan Owen and John Smith

Modified pictures and found marble sculptures by Edinburgh-based artist Jonathan Owen, in which part of the original work is carefully erased or removed. John Smith's film The Girl Chewing Gum plays in gallery 2.

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