Hazel Jones was born in Walsall in 1962. After gaining a degree in Craft at Crewe and Alsager College, she gained a Masters degree in Metalwork and Jewellery at the Royal College of Art. In 1987 she began working in London as a freelance artist where she taught in numerous art colleges and exhibited widely over a period of 12 years. In 1998, she became a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University on the Interactive Arts course, where she lectures on creative thinking. She continues to make her own work.
Hazel’s work starts from overlooked everyday objects and processes. She likes to create inventions in metal that elevate the status of these things. She makes objects that have the quality of looking like they belong to and had an important use in another time, thereby doing what John Updike describes as “giving the mundane its beautiful due”.
Collecting is a vital part of her own creative process. For the Μουσείον exhibition, Hazel has selected a number of objects from her own A1 Scrap Metal collection, which have inspired her over the years: www.a1scrapmetal.blogspot.com
She has also been inspired by forgotten objects stored in museum collections. She found two ‘quizzing glasses’ and a mysterious roll of paper in a metal tube in the Mary Greg Collection at Manchester Art Gallery, which have both had a great influence on her latest work.
Hazel has been working on a collaborative project to ‘quiz’ this forgotten collection over a number of years now: www.marymaryquitecontrary.org.uk Mary Greg’s collection of bygones consists of everyday objects ranging from keys, to miniature books, to rusty spoons but these are mainly in store (and have been for almost 50 years), and some think the collection would be better placed in a social history museum or even disposed of. By inviting artists to explore these objects, museum practices and conventions have been challenged.
Quizzing: ‘The act of mocking by a narrow examination through a quizzing-glass or by pretended seriousness of discourse’ (Definition from the Royal Dictionary Cyclopedia of Universal Reference by Thomas Wright, 1865)