Interview: Bar Towel Collage with Adam Jones

Like all great artists, Adam Jones finds beauty in the mundane. And growing up in Welsh community centres and dodgy pubs there was no shortage of dreariness around for him to romanticise and collage within his subconscious. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and Adam Jones’ ethos is a testament to that phrase. With Punk sensibilities Adam reappropriates bar towels and pub signage into sense memory triggering collections that stand right at the forefront of fashion in 2020, whilst offering a knowing wink to the old man pubs we all secretly love. We caught up with Adam ahead of the launch of his next collection.

Who do you have in mind when designing? Do you feel like you have a certain kind of customer?

I honestly don’t have anyone in mind when designing, my clothes truly are for anyone and everyone, but I know I have two audiences, those that are old enough to remember the references and the graphics and those who are too young to remember and it’s so fresh to them.

Is there a brand in particular you’d like to collaborate with or design for?

I am so up for collaborations, if they make sense, I would love to collaborate with a denim brand or a shoe company, to work with people who have a specialised skillset that could broaden my range. Maybe Dr Martens or Levi’s, or something really obscure, maybe TFL.

Does music influence your work in any way? If so, how?

Music doesn’t really influence my work weirdly to be honest, I’m too old to keep up with the new, so I just listen to Patti Smith and Grace Jones, Gil Scott Heron, Nina Simone, on repeat.

What’s been the main challenges starting your own brand?

To begin with, it was juggling a full time job with starting my own business, which I have now managed to balance, but it is hard, especially when you enjoy going to the pub as much as I do, but I guess that’s research right? There are challenges every day, but I love what I do so I find a way to overcome them, there is always a different way of doing things, which I have learnt to embrace, to be flexible.

Where do you do most of your designing?

You would think in the studio, but that’s where the making happens, I don’t tend to sketch really any more, or have the time to do it, ideas just come to me on the bus, on the tube, so I am designing all the time in my head, usually on my commute, and I just jot down my thoughts in my phone on the go.

How has growing up in Wales influenced you and your work?

It is definitely a big inspiration looking back, something I probably did not realise at the time, as I was that moody teenager who resented living miles from the nearest shop in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by old people with nothing to do but walk the dog.

Looking back to my upbringing is something I have been doing more and more as I get older, remembering time in the dodgy pubs and community centres, the local characters, the Welsh heritage and iconography, it’s the drabness of the place in a way, the discolouring and fadedness of everything there, if that makes any sense, everything is a bit worn but that’s because Wales is full of life, places are being used.

Found imagery plays a big part in your work, how much does fine art and collage influence your practise?

My work is basically a collage of things that have gone before, mashed up into something new, I am obsessed with collage in its’ many forms, from a paper collage which Is something I used to always to do as a teenager, to Rauschenberg’s 3D collaging of materials.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

I want to branch out into homewares, I would love to do some sort of art installation or hold a kind of immersive experience, and I want to continue collaborating with other creative people.

Adam Jones

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