Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 20 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-led research', his main efforts have involved developing tools
from the arts and humanities for use by social scientists in research and its impact on a wider
public or a Perfomative Social Science.

Jones was Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research at
Bournemouth University for 15 years.
He is now a Visiting Scholar and and an independent author and scholar.

Kip has produced films and written many articles for academic journals and authored chapters
for books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens.
Jones' most recent work involves working with Generation Z youth to tell their stories using
social media.
His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including Auto-fiction, biography
and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research
and dissemination are well-known.

Jones acted as Author and Executive Producer of
the award-winning short film, RUFUS STONE, funded by Research Councils UK.
The film is now available for free viewing on the Internet
and has been viewed by more than 14,000 people in 150 countries.

Areas of expertise
• Close relationships, culture and ethnicity
• Social psychology, sociology
• Ageing, self and identity
• Interpersonal processes, personality,
individual differences,
social networks, prejudice and stereotyping
• Sexuality and sexual orientation
• Creativity and the use of the
arts in Social Science

Media experience
His work has been reported widely
in the media, including:
BBC Radio 4,BBC TV news,Times
Higher Education, Sunday New
York Times, International
and The Independent.

Friday, 9 February 2018

La nostalgie est le voile que nous drapons sur les souvenirs de notre passé.

Clippings from Paris show

I was in Paris for just two weeks to do interviews for some French magazines about the exhibition of my paintings later that Autumn.  The exposition was to be held in an ever-so trendy and chic Marais gallery/bistro. The advance for it must have worked because the interviews were lined up well ahead.

Christo was also in Paris at the same time wrapping the Pont Neuf on the Seine. It was during la rentrée (the two weeks a year when the Parisians are still in a good mood, having just returned from their August vacances).

Kip interviewed on Pont Neuf
I went to see the wrapped bridge. Everyone seemed to be there, and it was quite a public event. Several radio journalists spotted me somehow and interviewed me on the bridge. I had arrived. I just say this to establish what that time was like for me in Paris. Frankly, the fuss made me quite uncomfortable.
Pont Neuf wrapped by Christo 1985

I don’t recall if it was that same visit or on a later one when I crossed the Pont Alma one night to Avenue Marceau. I was on my own and don’t remember where I was headed. In front of me on the corner was 5 Avenue Marceau. It’s where Saint Laurent’s haute couture house stood, where he designed made-to-measure clothes for a clientele composed of the world’s wealthiest and most discerning women.

YSL, 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris

It was a birthday cake of a building lit up like a Christmas tree. From across the street I could see St. Laurent himself fliting like a firefly from one chandelier-lit salon to the next. There he was, like a character in an elaborate 19th Century dollhouse or puppet proscenium. He was breath-taking to observe, almost unbelievable as an actual live human being. A moment remembered that stays forever because of its power.

I know not what brought me to Pont Alma that evening or what was awaiting me on Avenue Marceau. We used to visit a ritzy hotel’s coffee shop on Avenue Marceau, convinced that it was the best coffee in Paris. We would order a café at the bar, because buying it there it was cheaper, as opposed to sitting at a table or the even perching on the pricier terrace in front of the hotel.  Probably not that night, though. We usually would go there in the morning, not at night. 

Sometimes I would go to one of the Seine’s bridges like the Pont Neuf, Pont Alma or Pont Alexandre III when I was depressed. I always said that Paris was the perfect city in which to be depressed. It is too beautiful to actually get too caught up in despair and so it generally passes quickly. Petit morceaux, like the time I gave a stranger, a young salesclerk whom I admired, a card that I had made for him, and yet he blew me off. You know, tragedy.

Once, when I was moving (yet again) to sleep on someone else’s sofa for a while, two bin bags of possessions in hand, I stopped mid Pont Alexandre III and let my dire situation sink in. Then I thought, “It’s rough, but look where you are; you’re in Paris” and moved on.

One night in the Marais, tiny snowflakes tumbling, like the opening scene of an opera, I spotted someone’s belongings strewn on a walkway. I imagined a huge row and one or the other being expelled from the apartment, possessions to follow, tossed from a Juliet balcony.

I dug through the pile of what I assumed were discarded belongs and found a beautiful white wool rug from Morocco. I rolled it up and took it to the apartment where I was staying. Returning to America later, I left all my clothes behind, and flew back to the USA with the rug in my suitcase instead.

My clothes were still in the apartment in Paris, the last I heard.

Nostalgia is the veil that we drape over the memories of our past.