Shilo Jones’ GLUT is an exhibition of sculptural objects in which materials are handled in unusual ways and combined in singular fashion. A visceral softness and paradoxical sense of materiality characterize Jones’ work, which utilize elements of wood or stone carving, plaster, dollar-store kitsch and pop-culture references. In one assemblage, a Flavinesque neon light is bridged across a nest of objects: a puddle of axle grease, Mardi Gras beads, gouged plaster moulds, fake fur, leather, and feathers. GLUT resists the conjecture of much contemporary sculpture that that all objects carry an instantly recognizable code, something that fits smoothly into our daily rituals and rhythms of object-sign exchange. Jones’ sculptural objects undermine such habitual readings; his works use materials in a way that flaunts their obsolescence and ancient physicality.
The sculptural objects in this exhibition yield to gravity and touch. They are often soft and wet, and beckon to licentious configurations of materials in ways which work against notions of structure, surface and smoothness which, as noted by writer Renu Bora, tend to signify a “conscious erasure of history.” GLUT openly embraces and examines how, historically and materially, objects came into being. The dichotomy of purity and theatricality in sculpture is blurred; the history of objects become a poetic field from which to sample and reconfigure codes and signs to produce a unique aesthetic encounter.
Shilo Jones is a fourth year Visual Arts Major at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His sculptural work is currently driven by a simple love of things.