Under the Tree: a book of art and writing
Under the Tree is a unique collaboration between an artist and a writer, some thirty years apart. When artist and illustrator, Audrey Jones, died in 2013, her son – writer, Gavin Jones – was tasked with archiving her work.
Among the paintings and drawings he found an A4 sketch book, with work from her time at Newport Art College, in the early 1980s. It was full of delicate pencil drawings of flowers, mushrooms and portrait sketches. The drawings had a quality to them that as distinctively that of his mother: meticulous, but at the same time, energetic. Not only that, they were snapshots of a time he remembered very clearly – even thirty years later.
During the months (indeed, years) of his mother’s final illness, Gavin Jones wrote over four hundred poems. Not specifically about the difficulties the family were going through, they were – perhaps inevitably – coloured by them.
As he looked through the drawings his mother had left, it seemed there was a certain symmetry to her work at that time, and to his writing. It wasn’t an intention for either of them, but they seemed to go together well: they chimed. And so he brought them together to form the book: Under the Tree.
All proceeds (after cost) of the book will go to Pendleside Hospice, in Brierfield. Those working in end of life care do an incredible job. This almost goes without saying, but it cannot be overstated. What is an almost impossible situation for most, is made so much easier by the selfless caring of the professionals involved. Audrey Jones would, I’m sure, have approved of her work giving a little back to those who helped her.
All drawings on this page are taken from the sketchbook Audrey produced between 1982 and 1985. It was around the time that she undertook her degree in Fine Art/Illustration at Newport Art College (now part of the University of South Wales).
I’d like to thank everyone involved in the production of this book, and especially her husband, Ray Jones, who would have loved to have seen this book in print.
Under the Tree is available through Amazon (links below).