Matthew Carlyle Jones

BFA ’20 Sculpture


Before attending ECU, I earned my Associate’s in Fine Arts at Lenoir Community College. Where I worked as the Biology Department’s lab tech assistant, reigniting my love of science and innovation, which influenced my artwork. At ECU, I joined the sculpture area. I have always had an affinity for art as well as a love of science, more specifically, the way the people process the natural world around them. Eventually, these mindsets began seeping into my artwork, pushing me to do research for my sculptures. My sculptures are based on abstract concepts given physical form. Sculpture allows me to express my ideas, true to what I envisioned. This exhibition represents research, drawing parallels between the metaphysical and physical worlds of time and memory and how they affect every person on earth. Using time and memory as the running theme it has led to this body of work.



Cellular Memory, 2018

2’10″x 2’6″x 2’8″, steel, stone, wood
First in a four-part series based on the cellular process of endocytocsis. Endocytosis is the process where a cell’s membrane opens to allow food or foreign matter into the cell’s interior. Keeping that in mind, I began to think about life changing moments, the large wooden sphere represents oneself and the small black stone represents the memory of the moment.


Cellular Progression, 2019

5’10” x 5’8″x 4′, brass, steel, stone, wood
This sculpture is the second in the cellular series. As the small stone sphere is pulled inside of the larger wooden sphere or “sinking in”, the smaller stone sphere is lighter and the larger wooden sphere is darker and sprouting branches to show that the “being” is starting to grow beyond what it once was, while still echoing its former self.



Cellular Mutation, 2020

10’x 9’x 8’3″, steel, wood
This is the third sculpture in the cellular series. The former stone sphere is replaced with a small wooden sphere that has been pulled into the center of the larger sphere, to show that the smaller sphere is coming to life, growing in strength, anchoring into the outer sphere using it as a cocoon. The outer sphere is darker covered in worn branches, this is used to show that it is reaching the end of its life span.



Cellular Rebirth, 2020

4’5″x 1’10″x 1’10”, steel, wood
The final sculpture in the cellular series. Depicts the final stage in the lifecycle, the outer part sculpture has broken down into the barest materials and is still rotting away. The small wooden ball has taken on a form reminiscent of the first sculpture in the series ready to begin the cycle anew.



Dead Core, 2020

7’x 6’5x 5’3″, plaster, vinyl clear tubing, steel, copper wire
This piece is based on a neuron in the brain, and what countless years can do to it, it is a physical representation of the relationship between time and memory. The piece is painted black with open cracks, and in some areas, there is exposed mesh wire, these are the battle scars. The outer limits of the sculpture feature, damaged clear vinyl tubing, frayed copper wires to give a sense that the neuron was forcefully removed or could no longer hold its own and was left behind.



Endless Flight, 2019

6’5″x 3’4″x 3’4″, enamel paint, steel
This sculpture is based on the idea of travel, framed in our concept of time, or the night and day cycle. The two crescents on the top and bottom of the sculpture are night (dark blue) and day (light blue.) The circles are our most recognized heavenly neighbors, the white circle is the moon, the middle circle is the transitional period “twilight”, and the inner circle is the sun adorn with the alchemical symbol of air as a testimonial to the human dream to understand the heavens.



Endless Flight 2, 2019

8’x 3’x 2’6″, enamel paint, steel
This sculpture is a larger play on the original’s color scheme, influenced by the commissioner of the piece.



Memory-scape, 2018

2’2″x 2’x 1’4″, plaster, wood, wood stain
This sculpture is based on how a child’s view of the world is formed. Usually a small child’s world view is their home city and maybe a few places outside of their city. This version of the world is very fragile, and a “major” issue can shatter it for the child, hence the sculpture’s cityscape built on a tiny pillar ready to fall and be rebuilt on the strong bedrock beneath.



Open Wounds, 2018

2’6″x 1’8″x 1’2″, Aluminum, stone
Open Wounds is designed to reflect my psyche, the large aluminum sphere is myself, ripped open by the traumatic event of losing my mother. The stones inside of the sphere are from some of the rivers and lakes me and her visited together. The rods embedded in the stones ground me to right now, keeping her memory a part of me, but forcing me to live in the present.



Seed, 2020

5’8″x 2’8″x 2’2″, plaster, steel, light bulb, copper wire
“Let your ideas be the seeds to grow the next world” I remember hearing these words when I was very young, Seed is my take on giving this concept form. It is meant to show how ideas can grow to outlive their creators and can change the world hopefully for the better.



Silver Branches, 2017

2’x 2’2″x 2’2″, acrylic, steel
Silver Branches was my first attempt on working with the theme of time and memory. I wanted to show that we are the sum of all our memories. The “memories” are represented by the blue and they are only a part of the puzzle, it is the connections of those memories, what one takes away from these moments, that make them who they are.



Time’s Reward, 2018

1’x 8 1/2″x 6″, aluminum, dry pigment, found object, copper wire
This sculpture is the odd one out, it focuses on the memory of time more specifically the time we waste and then regret as we search for more. As the hand ages and decays it is always reaching to grab more in vain only prolonging the inevitable.