Gareth Jones obituary | Art
My friend and brother-in-law Gareth Jones, who died at the age of 77 of obstructive pulmonary disease, was an inspiring teacher, painter and printmaker. He left a legacy of traditional printmaking in East Suffolk, where he founded Sudbourne Park Printmakers.
His work reflected his love for the contrasting landscapes of Wales and Suffolk.
Born in Kennington, Oxfordshire, Gareth was the son of Gwyn Jones, senior technician for Shell-Mex, and his wife, Mary (née Black), who ran a nursery school. Both parents had family roots in Wales.
Gareth attended Copleston Road School, Ipswich, then the Ipswich Art School. At the age of 18, he had two paintings accepted for the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition. Gareth’s tutor and mentor, Gerald Woods, introduced him to printmaking, and so began his long-standing love and mastery of the medium – and his passion for collecting vintage printing presses.
In 1966, after working as a technician at Loughborough College of Art and the Slade, London, with Anthony Gross, Gareth moved to Watford School of Art. There he meets a student, Vicky Parkin. When she attended the Bath Academy of Art, Gareth followed her, becoming a technician at Gloucestershire College of Art. He became a member of the Printmakers Council, exhibited in galleries in London and New York alongside Gross, Julian Trevelyan, Michael Rothenstein and Norman Ackroyd, and was represented in 1968-69 at the first Print Biennale in Bradford, one of the judges being David Hockney.
Gareth and Vicky married in 1971 and three years later they moved to West Wales, first to a former woolen mill, then to a crumbling mansion in Llangrannog on the Ceredigion coast. They restored it to its former glory and established a successful print studio where Gareth not only produced his own work, but also ran residential classes and was in demand to print editions for other artists. .
Moving to Ufford in Suffolk in 1989, Gareth taught a growing number of students who gradually integrated into the Ufford group. Some were established artists; all were eager to learn traditional printmaking techniques.
In 2002, the workshop moved to larger premises in Sudbourne Park, near Orford, and the Ufford group became Sudbourne Park Printmakers. Over the years more than 75 artists have passed through the Ufford and Sudbourne groups, many more have undertaken workshops there, and countless children in local schools have learned the delights of having inked fingers.
Gareth is survived by Vicky and their daughters, Tonwen and Emma, her grandchildren, Havana, Brooklin, Elwen and Romanie, and her sister, Angela.