This year is Ventnor Fringe’s 10th Birthday and you may have started to spot some people with some special 10th edition badges which you can get hold of in the Ventnor Exchange. We had a chat with the designer behind them, Chris Jones.
Hi Chris, Tell us a little bit who about who you are and what you create?
Hi. I am an artist, photographer and designer living in the sunny town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. I would consider myself multi-disciplinary; I like my art to be weird, my photography to be dark, and my design to be bright, friendly and accessible. I work mostly in design these days as it pays the bills, but have had a good stint as a photo artist exhibiting on the Island and in London, as well as being published internationally. I consider Art to be in my blood and have been creating for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. Additionally (and no less importantly), I am a father to two boys and a husband to Island wedding photographer, Lucy Boynton.
You’ve designed some Ventnor Fringe 10th anniversary badges (Which are fantastic by the way) What do you think about the Ventnor Fringe? Do you think it’s been positive for the Island?
Thank you. They were fun to design! Ventnor Fringe was just beginning when I first moved to Ventnor, and I had just started to get involved with an art group called The Undecided Art Collective (The UAC). Aside from being incredibly accommodating to The UAC (providing exhibition spaces during Fringe week in the past), I think Ventnor Fringe is one of the most culturally vibrant events on the Island right now. I think it’s impact on Ventnor has completely transformed the town, and I look forward to seeing what the Fringe team has planned each year.
Your work spans both graphic design and photography, do you find any similarities in your process?
Yes and No. I think there are crossovers in processes – for example, working in photography helps improve composition. Working in design greatly enhances my understanding of colour, form and function. But I think the similarities end there. Photography has always been a conduit for the way I see myself and the world and the world through a lens is indeed a strange, delightful place. With design, I am more focussed on my client’s needs and approach it more as a form ofl problem solving. There is heart and soul in both, but coming from very different angles.
What are you working on at the moment? Is there anything we should keep an eye out for?
Professionally, I am currently very busy managing two website designs, as well as a re-branding for a well-known Islander. These are both secret projects for the time being, but all will be revealed! Personally, I continue to practice and refine my skills. Lucy and I have also been working on a photographic book entitled, ‘Clap Your Hands’. It’s a slightly psychedelic take on Bestival photographed over the span of three years. We took thousands of photos, and editing this down into a digestive format was a task in itself! I think many Islanders remember Bestival with a great deal of affection and fondness, and this series of photographs aims to capture exactly what it was that made it such a special event. What I really love about this project is the deliberately unexpected take on the subject where we focussed purely on environment and revelry rather than the main stage big acts. As such, It is very much a love letter to that time and place.
Where can we find your work?
I am currently working on a new website. For now, I am using Instagram to share my work; https://www.instagram.com/chemical_gdns/ for my photography and https://www.instagram.com/gdns_art_and_design/ for my design work. Give me a follow!
Photo by Lucy Boynton Photography.
You can buy Ventnor Fringe badges (Designed by Chris) from the Ventnor Exchange, and in doing so help in our big fundraising efforts for this year’s event.