The work by Jonny Briggs is composed of multiple photographs masquerading as four single, fractured artworks. Images of stripes are held in the mouth. The shape of the cracks are symmetrical: Mirroring, splitting and deconstructed frames frequently occur in the artist’s practice.
In his research and collaboration at Wedgwood Briggs connected with black and white stripes within the collection. Thinking of the dazzle as a form of hiding, Briggs's queer experience is referenced, through a history of trying to camouflage, and hide oneself for defence. The fractures in the artwork introduce disorder, celebrate imperfections, and stage accidents to disrupt Wedgwood's perfection.
Josiah Wedgwood utilised ceramics to amplify his voice for social change. Terms such as neck, lips, and mouth are used for the vase. Briggs explores the oral significance of the objects in the collection and the mouth as a site for both eating and speech.
The two diptychs are titled Gag I and Gag II, in reference to both a stifled voice, and the joke, as a licensed voice.
The frames are made of photographic prints, mounted on to aluminium, within wooden frame, masquerading as fractured ceramic.
Commissioned by GRAIN Projects and supported by Arts Council England. On display at RPS House, Bristol.
Jonny Briggs is a multidisciplinary artist best known for his idiosyncratic brand of highly autobiographical, self-psychoanalytical and yet universally relatable photography, whose arresting, hybridised, multi-media creations operate in the interstices between fact and fiction. Jonny has been awarded numerous significant prizes and opportunities, has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work is in numerous international private and public collections.
Jonny studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. His awards include Saatchi Gallery UK/raine Finalist, Foam Talent in 2014, and the Saatchi New Sensations 2011 Winner to name a few.
His solo exhibitions include V&A Wedgwood with GRAIN Projects, Kristin Hjellegjerde London Bridge, Burgh House and Hampstead Museum, Simon Oldfield Gallery, with many more in Europe and New York including Julie Meneret in 2014. Briggs has been included in a range of group shows including the Shanghai Centre of Photography, The Benaki Museum, Greece, Saatchi Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery in London, Centre Photographique, Hauser & Wirth and East Wing Gallery, Dubai.
Alongside exhibitions, his work has been published in a range of publications, from the British Journal of Photography and The Guardian to Aesthetica Magazine and Tate’s Playground Magazine. As well as national newspapers of France, China, Italy, South Korea and The Netherlands, with documentaries of the work being shown on Channel 4, Sky TV and French and German cable TV.