John Joekes



“A frozen moment” is a phrase that epitomizes my sculptures. Everything I make attempts to capture a moment in time – by the act of stone carving, I turn mass into energy. Thus, I imbue something static with a vibrancy by allowing the sculpture to have a life of it’s own. The countless hours involved making a piece creates an interesting paradox with the concept of ‘a frozen moment’ - Brancusi states, “…it is not difficult to make things. What is difficult is to get into the state of mind to make things” - if you allow your mind to be in control when making a piece, you are prone to making mistakes. I get into an almost meditative state of mind, allowing the physicality and creativity of carving to take over. The end product shows a great act of faith, and perseverance. With both my abstract and figurative works, I want people to sense this physicality directly, through touch, texture, surface and shape.

The power and inspiration of nature is very important to me. Francis Bacon, the writer, declares, “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention.” The beauty and detail inherent in nature is intrinsic in my art. I use natural materials which, when placed back into the environment change and evolve. To create a harmony with nature, I take shapes and forms from my observations of the natural world, often transforming their scale and giving the sculptures a presence and authority. The making of art, the contemplation of art, and belief in the power of art is for me, a way of life.


John Joekes was born in London in 1950. He was a pupil of George Kennethson and Studied at Camberwell School of Art. He uses traditional stone carving techniques to make varied, unique and interesting sculptures. John worked as a typographer in Paris while continuing his sculpture, then refined his technique whilst working first as a banker mason, fixer mason then as a carver at Chichester Cathedral.

He uses lettering and elements of design as a thread throughout much of his work, combining this with abstracted shapes and forms. Form and texture are also strong features of John's figurative sculptures - which draw influences from Brancusi and Penone amongst others - to create tactile and heavy, yet subtle and sensual, figures and heads.

John has had numerous one-man and group exhibitions in London, Bath and Bristol, among others, and has curated and organised shows, most notably the 1985 Bath International Sculpture Competition.

Johns belief in art, and the encouragement of artists and their practice led him to take an active role in BANA (Bath Area Network of Artists) in 2006, becoming Deputy Chair for 2007.  He has been involved in curatorship, exhibition organisation and committees, fundraising and general leadership roles. In 2007, John was heavily involved in arranging 'QA', an 'Any Questions' style art forum led by Jonathan Dimbleby, and 'Partial View', an exhibition curated by Freddie Robins.

John has been represented by the Thackeray Gallery from 2005 - 2015.

Exhibition History

2014OnForm at Asthall Manor
201345 years of Thackeray Gallery
2012Art in Woodstock
2010OnForm at Asthall Manor
2009For a review of 'Messages in Stone', visit:
07/07/09 - 24/07/09'Messages in Stone' - John Joekes' First Solo Exhibition with the Thackeray Gallery