Sunday, November 11, 2012

Update on Armistice Day

Dear friends I have been very slow in updating this website and as a result have much to report. I intended to post on November 1 in honor of David Jones's birthday but now we are at November 11, Armistice Day, and another day important to Jones. I will begin with the most recent information and work my way back.

 1. Derek Shiel's first film is now available for viewing through a weblink. I have this email from Adam Alive, Derek Shiel's collaborator on the first and second films.   The first documentary film in a trilogy commissioned by the David Jones Society, In Search of David Jones: Artist, Soldier, Poet can be viewed, freely, online at: (or you can try googling 'dailymotion' and then enter 'in search of david jones'). Images of David Jones, his numerous war drawings and other works are interwoven with footage of First World War battle-sites as we hear about his time in the trenches, his work with the artist Eric Gill, his spiritual development and the writing of his epic war poem 'In Parenthesis'. Contributors include Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, art critic Richard Cork and writer Owen Sheers. Running time 49 minutes. The second film, David Jones Between the Wars: The Years of Achievement celebrates his artistic and literary achievements during the interwar years and, again, includes Rowan Williams along with art historians Paul Hills and Frances Spalding. Screening at arts and cultural venues in the UK until March 2013, it should then be available online by the early summer, subject to finance for reproduction licences. The third film David Jones: Innovation and Consolidation is currently in production.

 2. David Jones: Culture and Artifice, the conference last April in Washington,, was a great success. We heard talks from Bill Blissett, Anne Price-Owen, Tom Dilworth, Paul Robichaud, Kathleen Staudt, Jasmine Hunter-Evans, Nora Delaney, Tom Durham, and Fr. Johhn David Ramsey. Brad Haas, who directs the Honors Program at Washington Adventist University, worked to organize the conference, in some consultation with me as the other local Washington person. A highlight was an evening of jazz and reading that featured a fabulous reading by Tom Durham. A gallery show featuring book illustrations from Brad's (and some from John David Ramsey's) collections gave many of us a chance to see works we hadn't seen firsthand before. And we were blessed with the attendance of a number of very engaged undergraduate students from the University. We are hoping to publish some of the papers from the conference in the future and I've been in touch with people individually about that. More soon!

3. Anne Price-Owen reports on a number of gatherings of the David Jones society in the UK this past fall, with a few members of the North American branch in attendance. I was sorry to miss the Inaugural conference launching the David Jones Center at the University of Wales Aberystwyth. See more on this at The David Jones Society in the UK also hosted a walk through Rotherhithe in late September.

 4.Facebook Group: "Venator Formarum" I want to make sure everyone is aware of the facebook page, "Venator Formarum, the David Jones exchange. Available here if you're on facebook. Tom Goldpaugh reports in that thread that he has posted on an expanded version of his Washington paper, "David Jones: Toward a Eucharistic Theory of Art." Read it here.