Mattias Jones. Retina tear (2014)

I had a pleasure of meeting Matt Jones in January 2014. I instantly felt a kinship to his art and to him personally. Matt is not just a highly professional graphic artist-designer, but he is also a great intellectual, interested in philosophy and the magic traditions of various cultures. In our conversations, we discovered that we were both fascinated and influenced by artists such as Austin Osman Spare, Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Matt’s extremely precise, meticulously constructed, yet marvellous and beautiful art, is informed by his knowledge of fractal mathematics and dimensionality – as well as Jungian psychology and Shamanism. You can see some of Matt’s work at
In early 2014, Matt’s life was impacted by a physical illness, which significantly changed his life. In his own words:
“I had a retinal tear develop in my left eye towards the end of February 2014…
Thanks to quick treatment by the amazing National Health Service and the hospitals here in Sheffield, they’ve managed to save vision in my left eye – but I’m left with lots of blood trapped in the vitreous humour.
There are great patterns that change with every blink and micro-movement of my sight, but to say it is distracting doesn’t really come close. It is quite hard to concentrate on making new patterns when your eye is creating them by itself constantly.”
As Matt was describing the experience he had been going through to me – blood-red patterns fluctuating in his field of vision, constantly reforming, blending with the image of the outer world, distorting and estranging it – I suddenly remembered a quote by the German surrealist artist, Max Ernst:
“Seeing means, usually, to open your eyes and look out to the outside world. You can see another way – close your eyes and look into the inner world.
I believe the best approach is to have one eye closed and looking inside, while the other eye is fixed on reality. If you can make a synthesis of these two worlds, you come to a result which can be considered to be a synthesis of objective and subjective life.”
I expressed the uncanny similarity of this concept to Matt. He agreed and we went on to discuss the mystery that is Vision, and how little it is really understood. Eventually, we came up with the idea for a picture that would comment on this problem.
I had a rather educating and wonderful time collaborating with Matt on this. I would like to thank him for his dedication, patience, and bravery.

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