Jonathan Owen - Edinburgh Art Festival 2016

28 July - 24 September 2016

Commission at Burns Monument ends 28 August 2016. Jonathan Owen's exhibition at Ingleby will continue, by appointment, until 24 September 2016. Jonathan Owen’s presentation for the 2016 Edinburgh Art Festival comprised an exhibition of new drawings and sculpture alongside a major sculptural commission - one of seven works commissioned by EAF as part of the 2016 commissions programme, entitled More Lasting Than Bronze - sited within the Burns Monument on Regent Road; a circular neo-classical pavilion, built in 1831 and originally intended to house Flaxman’s life-size portrait of Robert Burns. Flaxman’s sculpture was removed to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery soon after, amidst fears for its safety in a part of town then polluted by a local gasworks, and the monument has lain empty ever since. This summer, until 28 August, its doors reopened to reveal Owen’s dramatic re-carving of a 19th century white marble nymph. Owen is an artist who makes work in both two and three dimensions by systematically transforming readymade images and objects. He is interested in making by reducing and removing, and in the controlled collapse of existing images and objects as a method of production and reactivation. All of his sculptures begin as something else – eighteenth or nineteenth century marble pieces that have become almost invisible relics of another time. Out of fashion, devalued and often ignored, Owen breathes new life into them by re-carving them into disjointed, re-invigorated and poignant versions of their original selves. His approach to ‘drawing’ is the same: using a pencil filled not with lead, but with rubber, to erase parts of a photographic image reproduced in a book. Through nothing more than a process of rubbing out, Owen conjures new images that create an entirely new narrative, and which simultaneously leave a ghostly echo of what was there before. Despite his use of the word ‘drawing’ to describe these works there is something more akin to carving in the action of using a tool to re-shape an existing material into something else. Ingleby Gallery has published a new monograph on Owen’s recent practice with texts by Maria Fusco and Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, Sorcha Carey. The exhibition at Ingleby continues, by appointment, until 24 September 2016. Owen was born in Liverpool in 1973 and graduated from Edinburgh College of Art MFA in 2000. The artist's commission at the Burns Monument - part of the festival commissions programme entitled More Lasting Than Bronze - was supported by the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, Ingleby, Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and City of Edinburgh Council.


Jonathan Owen, The Guardian Guide 23 July 2016

Jonathan Owen, The Scotsman newspaper, 28 July 2016

Jonathan Owen, The Times, Scottish edition, 28 July 2016

Jonathan Owen and Edinburgh Art Festival, The Observer,

Jonathan Owen and Edinburgh Art Festival, The Guardian newspaper,  3 August 2016

Jonathan Owen, The Scotsman Magazine, 6 August 2016

Jonathan Owen and Edinburgh Art Festival, The Sunday Times, Culture, 7 August 2016

Jonathan Owen, The Times, 16 August 2016