Mankind has depended on plants since the dawn of time. In an exhibition that has grown out of a residency with the University of Essex’s Department of Biological Sciences, Jevan Watkins Jones investigates our inter-relationship with plants.
In the University’s plant laboratories, research focuses on how to provide sustainable food and fuel for a growing global population. Current research investigates ways to improve the water efficiency of plants. In response to time spent in the labs witnessing man and machine work in close proximity, Jevan Watkins Jones turns Art Exchange into both laboratory and garden as he explores the necessary co-existence between plant, machine and mankind.
Jevan’s fascination with plants also ventures beyond the laboratory, as he takes inspiration from John Constable, addressing the colour green, gardens as artifice and the shifting English landscape. By re-positioning vegetal material alongside common and personal histories, Jevan highlights our perennial occupation and interaction with plants. This extraordinary new body of work includes large scale drawing, objects and film, alongside plants taken directly from the University’s laboratories and green houses.
Jevan Watkins Jones studied at the Princes Drawing School in London and recently was Associate Artist at Firstsite, Colchester. He has also been artist in residence at Art Exchange since 2012
Photos: Doug Atfield