“A stone does not live or maybe it does, maybe it lives like us”
Amidst the context of the global pandemic, this exhibition of black and white photographs, made within a remote, semi-desert region of Southern Spain, speaks to the appreciation of, and perhaps intensified relationship with, the natural world and suspension of time.
Taking inspiration from Roger Caillois’ book of the same name, The Writing of Stones reveals a poetic and philosophical encounter with the earth and its surfaces, where the intersecting narratives of humans and the natural world are writ large in its stones.
This striking body of work is the result of two artist residencies at Joya-AiR, Almeria, Spain in 2019 and 2020 where Rimmington Jones photographed the hot, bone-white terrain of the imposing marble quarries and deserted, dry-baked gorge of the Los Gasquez region.
Rimmington Jones has had a deep connection to stones throughout her life, “I have collected stones my whole life, as if in their weight and density the curvature of time is made manifest. When you hold a stone it is as if you are holding time.”
In fact a 14 year old Rimmington Jones once wrote:
“A stone does not live or maybe it does, maybe it lives like us. We might be like stones to them, who knows. I wish we did, they are one of the many mysteries, to me anyway.”
Each image in The Writing of Stones expresses this deep, metaphysical connection to stone. Her direct focus on the smooth, white planes of the marble quarry that ‘returned the strength of my gaze’ illustrates the tension between the innate beauty of the natural environment and human enterprise.
The use of scale and in-camera multi-exposure techniques to layer surfaces of the dried-up fluvial gorge and quarry reveal more than just the stone’s hard surface; it evokes the sublime, and invites an appreciation of landscape as intimate encounter.
They are not easily readable landscapes, offering no contextual locus but instead shift between abstraction and representation that challenges the instant appeal of traditional landscape photography. However, there is a magnificence in the images that succeeds in communicating the artist’s deep fascination with, and contemplation of, stones.
Gin Rimmington Jones is a photographic artist based in Brighton. She graduated with an MA in Photography from Brighton University in 2018. Her series Somewhere among us a stone is taking notes, which was long-listed for the Jerwood/Photoworks Award, is also on show as a complement to the main exhibition. Rimmington Jones was the winner of the inaugural Metro Imaging/Satori Mentoring Award 2019/20.
The physical exhibition runs in the gallery until 31st October if you are able to visit in person.