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A detailed close up colour drawing of a woman's face. She is wearing a beauty mask of gold leaf.

Oliver Jones - Skin Deep

Gold Leaf Face Mask II, pastel on paper 2016. Courtesy Cynthia Corbett. Photo Stefan Handy.

A semi-naked man reclines in a dark tattoo parlour, where the tattoo artist's machine and its cable snake around the figures

Oliver Jones - Divine

Pastel on paper, 2016. Courtesy the artist. Photo Stefan Handy.

A close up of the bottom part of a woman's face as she applies red lipstick

Oliver Jones - Get Red That Lasts

Pastel on paper, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

A mother waering a hooded towelling dressing gown holds a child in her arms. She seems to gaze at the child, but is really looking at her phone screen.

Oliver Jones - #motherandchild

Pastel on paper, 2017. Courtesy the artist.

A detailed close up colour drawing of a woman's face. She is wearing a beauty mask of gold leaf.A semi-naked man reclines in a dark tattoo parlour, where the tattoo artist's machine and its cable snake around the figuresA close up of the bottom part of a woman's face as she applies red lipstickA mother waering a hooded towelling dressing gown holds a child in her arms. She seems to gaze at the child, but is really looking at her phone screen.

Skin Deep

Oliver Jones - contemporary art at Berrington Hall

17 May - 31 October 2021

No booking is required. Please check for current safety and social distancing guidelines at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall

 

About the exhibition

Meadow Arts is working in partnership with National Trust for a new exhibition, with contemporary artist Oliver Jones, that draws the past and present together to spark new conversations.

Berrington Hall is a remarkably handsome place. Designed for enjoyment and elegance, its pleasing aesthetics are reflected in both the landscape of Capability Brown, for whom Berrington’s pleasure grounds were a crowning glory and in the interior decoration of Henry Holland, who was the uncontested fashionable designer of his time.

In this second decade of the 21st century, the same ideas of perfection and beauty are disseminated on a scale unimaginable at the time of Brown and Holland, through the internet, advertising and, of course, social media. One of the main functions of these new media seems to be the re-presentation of these ideals: the perfect life, under the perfect surface (perfect face, body and skin).

Sometimes shocking, often melancholy or humorous, Oliver Jones’ images take their place in the beautiful interior of Berrington Hall. Like a sudden invasion of hyper-reality, they jar and stand out, but they also seem strangely at home. Graphically, these images respond to a new tech-driven iconology; they are cropped and framed to fit the screens on phones or tablets. Jones’ images are not portraits, rather they illustrate a need for attention; an almost macabre quest for beauty and perfection, whether through plastic surgery, skin treatments or body modification.

Skin Deep invites new interpretations of the Hall, looking for example at what belies the decoration and collections, cultural ideas of beauty, or portraiture etc. The exhibition also hopes to encourage new audiences to visit Berrington. The works present an opportunity to discuss issues like body consciousness, self-image, self-obsession, or societal ideas of self-hatred. This new cult of beauty and perfection, especially as expressed and experienced by ‘natives’ of the digital era, is often described as dangerous and alienating.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall

View our virtual tour, recorded in March 2020 - move around the rooms using the arrows (view on YouTube for the best experience). Please note that the exhibition has changed slightly since this recording was made.

Artists

Pieces/Installations

Venue

Berrington Hall
near Leominster
Herefordshire
HR6 0DW
01568 615721
berrington@nationaltrust.org.uk
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall

Please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall/whats-on to book your tickets in advance. Tickets are relaesed each Friday for the following week.

Click here for venue information on facilities, accessibility and directions.