Year Graduated: 2019
Photographer Mike Jones, born in Elgin, Illinois, moved to Iowa while in High School. Mike continued his education by trekking to Sioux City to attend Morningside College for Mike continued a degree in Mass Communications and Photography. After a career spanning 30 years in various forms of television media, Mike embarked on a new adventure to the University of South Dakota to begin his graduate work. Mike developed an interest in photography as an art form after feebly negotiating a stint as a photojournalist in a local TV station.
Today as an “empty nester” and avoiding mid-life crisis Mike works on art exploring connectedness between individuals and archetypal themes. Looking for a way to explore collage and the way two images play off each other in a diptych, Mike found a new mode of expression in weaving images together.
As an educator, Mike still teaches video production at Western Iowa Tech Community College and creates art to communicate messages about personal rebirth and spirituality through his own brand of photocollage.
Collage and Sculpture in the visual arts has a long and varied history as has music and writing making use of layered meaning as a woven understanding or form of expression. My use of this technique is to explore mythological themes that are personally significant to me. My intent is to create narratives from past cultural mythologies in order to understand and explore archetypal themes within our culture and my personal life. I view my work as a visual document and artifact of memory related to the adventure and journey through my own life.
Using my own photographs, I go the extra steps of cutting the pictures into strips and then weaving theses separate images together to reflect the blend of perspectives emotionally perceived, physically creating three-dimensional photographic collage. Merging photographs into a unique amalgamated meaning creates a narrative greater than the independent nature of the photographs alone.
Related to my work, the artist Dinh Q. Le used the technique of weaving strips cut from photographs together like a traditional Vietnamese woven grass matt to narrate the militant past of Vietnam. This was his own personal exploration in trying to help him understand the past and the shift in cultures as Le's family relocated to the United States when he was a child. This combined language leads me to experiment with this technique related to the personal themes and issues in my own life.
Over the past, the evolution of my woven photographs has evolved from the flat pictorial plane into a sculptural element that seeks to exist in space and create its own atmosphere.