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Jack Jones

Jack Jones

Jack Jones (1922 - 1993) Also a writer as (Jack Raymond Jones)

Painter, teacher and writer, Jack was born poor and illegitimate in the front room of a terraced house in Aberdyberth Street, Hafod, Swansea, in 1922 during the Great Depression and was raised by his grandmother.  Whilst conditions were harsh and the area was one of high unemployment and few comforts, young Jack was not despondent. He said “Life for me was a delight and a source of joy and wonder, a one-off opera which was free for the enjoying…..in spite of the poverty and the ill-health there was a bubbling effervescence in the Hafod people that transformed them from victims to victors.”

 

He won a place at Dynevor School in Swansea, then studied at University in Paris, where in his late twenties he became interested in art and he published a Life of Van Gogh, ‘The Man who loved the Sun’.

 

During World War II, Jack served in Egypt, returning to the UK in 1951 to teach French and English, and eventually becoming Head of English at Barnes Grammar School, London.

 Jack received no formal arts training and began painting in 1953.

Jack then began his full-time painting career in 1972 and continued virtually untaught for most of the rest of his life.  His inspiration came from his childhood in the heart of industrial Swansea – its characters, landscape and warm community.

 

Although he was called “The Welsh Lowry” he denied Lowry’s influence on his painting and referred to himself as the “Leonardo of the slag heap”. He said that he was “not aware of the existence of Lowry and had developed the content and style before I saw any of his pictures. I felt that his paintings are sadder that my own”.

 

A leading exponent of outsider art, inspired by the industrial landscape of his native Wales, Jack Jones had a romantic, tragic and productive life, and leaves a legacy of work that is becoming increasingly collectable.

 

His unique style was much appreciated and collected. He exhibited in London, Cardiff and Swansea being a regular contributor to many shows in the Attic Gallery. His work is to be found in many public collections.

 

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