“The show is a response to my time spent working with Aptart.org in Goma, Democratic republic of Congo, a city of 1 millon people. Myself and Aptart director Samantha Robsion worked with street kids, orphans and former child soldiers painting large murals and running painting workshops. Goma is the setting and context of this show and the kids in this show are from and live in Goma. Last week, while the show was on display at the gallery, the city was over thrown by the rebel group m23. It was never thought that the rebel forces would be able to take the eastern capital.” Jonathan Darby (artist, creative director Aptart.org). Read the article on BBC News about the rebel’s activities in Goma.
In 6 days the gallery has been completely transformed from its white walls to a full scale installation of the city of Goma.
Jonathan’s artistic concern deals with socio-political and humanitarian themes. His work portrays people in a cultural context where innocence and the vulnerable have been impacted by forces of social, economic and political change. His focus is on children as he believes they can and will determine the future. The experiences they encounter now may have severe consequences for them and their society.
Contrasting elements of softness and beauty against severe brutalities, Jonathan’s paintings are both seductive and harsh in their subject and technique. Using an array of different media with two and three dimensional elements, the paintings consist of smooth layers of paint contrasting with rough, reworked textures. Jonathan has been working with children’s charities and is increasingly furthering this course of action.