'Look About' by artist/ geologist Jon Adams

The RELAY programme is delighted to include 'Look About' by John Adams

Look About: Transmission

Look About is a two-year mapping and collecting project led by Portsmouth based artist/geologist Jon Adams in response to Accentuate and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in the South East of England.  This creatively driven, multilayered project weaves together science and art, digital and analogue, and Jon's autobiographical experiences. Elements of both ‘Look About’: Artefacts and Transmission (in various forms including digital and published) will be presented at partner venues around the South East until September 2012.  Look About will also have an Interactive 'Map' artwork/website in late 2012/13 hosted by the University of Portsmouth.  In addition Look About will also be showing at the British Geological Survey during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Look About: Artefacts is a touring and evolving exhibition that includes elements of research material that Jon has gathered from around the South East, including illustrations and 'fossils' such as hair clips, napkins and train timetables. Each 'fossil' provides a link to a particular day or event, which in turn is also represented as a geological time-zone (chronozone) diagram.

Look About: Transmission is a screen-based work featuring film, animation and sound works inspired by Jon's mapping of Cultural Olympiad and Accentuate events in the South East. Transmission is evolving as it gathers data at each exhibition location, growing and metamorphosing to eventually comprise 64 Fragments – printed artwork which uses geological metaphors to produce visual diaries, and digital films/animations inspired by geological and other correlated themes gathered throughout the journey.

Jon Adams B.Sc FRSA is a trained geologist who uses observational techniques, data collection and mapping to produce a continually evolving 'biostratigraphy' that forms the content of the Look About project (biostratigraphy is a geological term relating to the assigning of ages of rocks and fossils in layers to periods in time and looks similar to bar graphs or DNA samples). The geological metaphor stems from his personal struggle to become an artist within the conventional teaching environment and being forced to find an alternative career as a field geologist and palaeontologist.  He has since reverted to art and become a successful illustrator and conceptual artist.  Adams is able to uncover the hidden and unexpected; he is a collector by nature, highly observant, and an authentic detailer – all things needed to be a successful geologist. Jon has been diagnosed with Asperger's and Dyslexia, and therefore inclusion and accessibility lie at the heart of the Look About project. It involves conversation with Deaf and disabled artists within the South East region of England and aspires with Accentuate to shift cultural attitudes towards disability in the arts.


Look About is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and also funding from Accentuate.

Look About is part of Accentuate, the London 2012 Legacy Programme for the South East. Accentuate has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK, SEEDA and the Regional Cultural Agencies. 

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