Tree of Life Review



AIRMAIL: Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project by Jessica Falcone

COLUMN: Storiedmusic — The Night I Walked Out by DJ T’challah

NOVEL EXCERPT: In a State of Partition by Aneesha Capur

UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes — Art, Yoga, and Abu Ghraib

The Art of Jonathan Cox

The work of Jonathan Cox revitalizes the mind and soul equally with images that evoke an emotional connection to family, life, and knowledge. Many of his pieces are done on a grand scale yet retain a sense of intimacy with their viewers, inviting us to explore ourselves more deeply and our attachment to our own personal world. May these pieces, meticulously sculpted from raw earthen materials, awaken in you the inner beauty of growth, lasting memories, and a sense of peace.

Memories of My Father

Memories of My Father is the most nostalgic piece that I have ever done and is, in many ways, my favorite. All through childhood and early adulthood I was very close to my dad. He was the best friend that I have ever had. We lived in a modest home that he built on the Ortega River in Florida. He was a city fireman and a builder of many things, including boats. We built five full size boats of my father's design together as I was growing up. In college, when I decided to major in art, my family was baffled, except for my dad. He seemed to understand right away and was supportive from the start. Tragically, he died young, the year after I finished my BFA degree. I grieved intensely for a long time, but after the pain eased, I was left with the richness of many memories that he and I shared. Memories of My Father is dedicated to my dad, what we shared, and the contribution that he made to my life which continues to live on.

The Discovery

The Discovery was completed in 2000 and was the first piece that I built after relocating from Florida to West Virginia. The base form is carved from Italian Carrera marble and represents a seed or egg form, a form that contains concentrated life. The upper wood form, constructed from poplar, represents the manifestation of that life which is contained within the seed. Some people have told me that The Discovery reminds them of a leaf, others have said a sail, and still others have said a boat. I enjoy all of these associations. At just a bit under fifteen feet, it is a commanding piece and is located at the main entrance of the Huntington Museum of Art.

The Ascent of Knowledge

The Ascent of Knowledge is a sculpture dedicated to the beauty and power of the written word. The form at the bottom is a stylized book carved from Colorado marble. The wood form is constructed of Honduras mahogany and is a life/growth form which springs forth from the energy contained within the book. Personally, for me, the written word in its many forms has always been a rich and powerful source of both information and inspiration. Appropriately enough, The Ascent of Knowledge is sited in the entry lobby area of a library.

The Idea

The Idea is another sculpture that began with the concept of a seed or egg form. A single idea can contain so much life giving and life affirming power. For this sculpture I wanted to communicate the power, vitality, and life that can be contained in an idea. The form at the bottom is carved from oak, while the linear forms, which curve upward, are constructed of poplar. The piece is sited in a garden at the home of a collector in Charleston. It is designed and constructed so that the curved forms move nicely in a slight breeze and then, in the event of a storm, the whole sculpture simply swivels at the base to face the oncoming wind. It seems to be equally happy in both conditions as well as anything in between.

Cargoes (front)

Cargoes (detail)

Cargoes is my most recent installation sculpture and at more than fifty-four feet it is also the largest. It was photographed at a recent solo exhibit at The Avampato Discovery Museum at The Clay Center in Charleston, West Virginia. The piece is designed to be viewed and experienced from both within and without. The suspended forms that appear to fly through the linear boat structure are constructed of poplar wood and rice paper. Each contains a small box which holds a small object of great sentimental value. Through the voyages of each of our lives the passage of time is punctuated by rich experiences and interactions with others. These experiences and times are varied in nature, yet unified by their common intensity. These are the things that we remember vividly until we leave this earth. These cargoes are the true treasures that we carry in our hearts, the things about our lives that are truly most precious.

Cargoes (rear)

Jonathan Cox

Jonathan Cox

Jonathan Cox is an Associate Professor of Art (Sculpture) at Marshall University in West Virginia. He has a BFA from the University of Florida and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

My father gave me my first toolbox when I was four. He cleared the trees from the land that he bought from my grandmother, then used the wood from the trees to build the house that I grew up in. Before I was fourteen, we had built five boats together. The process that I engage in with my sculpture today begins with wood and with skills that I learned as a child. From there, I add whatever material will best communicate the idea. I am most intent on producing works that edify and elevate the consciousness of others. I am currently working on a large, suspended self-portrait piece and planning an extended trip to Japan.


ART: The Art of Jonathan Cox

John Moskowitz

John Moskowitz

John Moskowitz, WRR Contributing Editor

John is a professional business consultant that has performed project management, coaching/training and process improvement for clients in the pharmaceutical, credit card and construction materials industries among others.

He has been responsible for the design of PowerPoint presentations for executive management, training materials focused on financial analysis, project management and process improvement and flow mapping, step-by-step instructions for software self-help menus and templates for teaching six sigma statistical control concepts. He has also authored numerous corporate internal change management communications to reinforce company-wide policy.


ART: The Art of Jonathan Cox