Catrin Jones

Concepts As an architectural glass artist I find that most of my commissions are for buildings. Progress in architecture can be very slow - sometimes years elapse between a project's inception and realisation. Being an artist in architecture is also a very collaborative process. From the design, through the manufacturing stage to installation, every aspect of a commission will be considered carefully in relation to its objectives. Each design is unique and will be informed by, amongst other things, the ethos of the clients, the available budget, the location, function and aspect of the building, together with input from the staff and users. Most of my designs are descriptive in that the imagery usually relates somehow to the provenance, history or function of the building. Whilst my work should be accessible, the visual language should not be compromised by being literal or obvious. The work should be both meaningful and a visual challenge. Influences I often design using collage, because the results are always surprising. Source material varies from archive photographs, my own collage material or pages from magazines. I like to play around with scale, taking small objects that we might take for granted and turning them into much larger, totemic images. Before designing for a commission, I usually research strong visual images appropriate to the brief. I like images to evoke other ideas and feelings so that, if you want to investigate the design, further meanings evolve if you look for them. I think this layering of meaning underpins the work and gives it integrity. For example, I've used images of leaves in a number of commissions, recently. These can be interpreted as simple imagery, but their symbolism can also connote many other ideas about religion, the environment, nature, pharmacology, health, the family, longevity, etc. Career path I studied Architectural Stained Glass at Swansea Institute of Higher Education and graduated, with distinction, in 1982. After leaving college I, together with four other ex-students, set up the co-operative Glasslight Studios. I spent five years with Glasslight, but became increasingly dispirited by the economic necessity of accepting whatever work was presented, and I left to pursue an individual career in 1987. At first, there were long gaps between commissions but, over time, these gaps have lessened and now, at any one time, I have a number of commissions in various stages of progress. I teach occasionally, when invited, at art colleges, but otherwise work full-time as an artist. I rent a small studio and employ both my husband and my brother part-time when required. I have personal experience of the financial insecurity of becoming an artist: after 20 years of practice, I still earn less than the average newly qualified graduate. read full statement

Location Swansea, Wales