Way back in March 2014, Jon Tonks came over from out West to give a talk for us in Brighton about Empire – a huge, ranging project that took book form in an imprint from Dewi Lewis. Jim Stephenson picked it out as one of his favourites…
From 2007 onwards Jon Tonks travelled over 60,00 miles around the Atlantic Ocean to visit some of the most remote remaining outposts of the British Empire, spending at least a month on Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, the Falklands and St Helena. On each island he took the time to explore, to get to know the people and to familiarise himself with the local way of life. This sensitive approach is reflected brilliantly in the images, which run between portraits to documentary images of life, to still-life’s and interiors of the places his visited.
When you travel 60,000 miles to complete a photography project, to some of the most difficult-to-get-to places in the world, you really have to come back with something that stands out, and Jon’s work does just that. It feel timeless; a project that will be returned to again and again over the years. Deliberate or not, the images have a sense of humour about them, without that sense that anyone is poking fun at anyone. Each images is accompanied with a short paragraph of text which sets the scene, but leaves sufficient room for our imagine to wonder. AND, I’m very pleased to say that Dew Lewis has copies back in stock now.
It’s £35 and available here.