G. B. Jones

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G. B. Jones
Born Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Genres Post-punk
Occupation(s) Musician, artist, filmmaker
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active 1980s-present
Associated acts Fifth Column, Bunny and the Lakers, Opera Arcana

G. B. Jones is a Canadian artist, filmmaker, musician, and publisher of zines based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her art work has been featured at galleries around the world,[1] and her films screened at numerous film festivals, both in Canada and abroad.[2] Her most recent musical project is Opera Arcana, founded in collaboration with Minus Smile of Kids on TV.


In the early 1980s Jones joined her first band, the experimental industrial electropunk group, Bunny & the Lakers. Led by songwriter Peter Morgan and including Howard Pope among other fluctuating members, the band released one limited edition LP record called Numbers, which has since become a collector's item. The trio performed live only once in Toronto.

From the early 1980s to the late 1990s, Jones performed with the experimental post-punk band Fifth Column, playing drums, guitar and background vocals, and was one of the co-founders of the group. The band's first album, To Sir With Hate was released in 1985. It has twice been nominated for a Polaris Music Prize in the Heritage section for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize and 2017 Polaris Music Prize.

The group went on to release three singles and two more albums. All-Time Queen of the World was released in 1990 and a video for the song "Like This" was produced. Their last album, 36-C, contained perhaps their best-known and most controversial song, "All Women Are Bitches". Released prior to the album as a single by K Records in 1992, "All Women Are Bitches" was reviewed by Everett True and chosen "Single of the Week" by the UK paper Melody Maker. A video for the song "Donna" was released in 1994 accompanying the release of the album 36-C. Along with the "36-C" album, the band released two more singles and also appeared on a number of compilation albums and film soundtracks. In 2002, Fifth Column's last release appeared on the Kill Rock Stars compilation album Fields and Streams.

In October 2007, the recording Raise Your Paw to the Sky And Break The Truce by the Italian dark ambient group Mariae Nascenti was released on the Final Muzik label, with G. B. Jones appearing as a guest vocalist.

By 2010, G. B. Jones was working with Minus Smile of Kids on TV on a new musical project called Opera Arcana.[3] They appeared as guest musicians on UK artist Nick Hudson's 2016 release Ganymede In A State of War.[4]


G. B. Jones has directed and appeared in a number of underground films. In 1990, she and Bruce LaBruce held J.D.s movie nights in London, Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, New York and San Francisco, showing their no budget films made on Super 8 mm film. The Troublemakers premiered at this time and proved influential, although rarely screened afterwards till the mid 2000s. In 1991, she starred in the feature film No Skin Off My Ass by Bruce LaBruce, which has been noted by Gus Van Sant to be Kurt Cobain's favorite movie.[5] To date, her own films have been made using a variety of mediums, including Super 8 mm and analog video. Her best known work from the 1990s is perhaps The Yo-Yo Gang, released in 1992, a 30-minute exploitation movie about girl gangs. The film stars a number of well-known musicians, including Fifth Column members Caroline Azar and Beverly Breckenridge.

Jones' film The Lollipop Generation, which had been a work-in-progress for 13 years, had its premiere on 3 April 2008 at the Images Festival in Toronto. The film stars Jena von Brucker, Mark Ewert, Calvin Johnson, Joel Gibb, Jen Smith and many other musicians, performers, and artists.

Her films are available through the artist-run distributor, Vtape.

Artwork and publications[edit]

G. B. Jones initially received recognition for her drawings, which had been published in the fanzine J.D.s, founded by Jones and co-published with Bruce LaBruce, the initials 'J.D.s' standing for juvenile delinquents. The editors wrote an art manifesto for the punk publication Maximum Rock 'N' Roll and, at the end of the decade, released a cassette tape entitled J.D.s Top Ten Tape, featuring bands from the U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.

In 1991, these drawings began to be shown in galleries, first in New York City, NY, U.S.A., and then around the world. In 1996 a gallery in New York released a book of her drawings, posters, record covers, and other artwork, entitled G. B. Jones, with commentaries by Kevin Killian, Dodie Bellamy, Dennis Cooper and others. Although widely available in the US and Europe, copies were seized by the Canada Border Services Agency[why?] and it was officially pronounced banned in Canada.[why?]

In 1991, Jones and a rotating roster of editors, including Jena von Brücker, Rex, Johnny Noxzema, Caroline Azar and several others began releasing the often contentious zine Double Bill, frequently referred to as an 'anti-zine' or 'hatezine' (as opposed to 'fan'-zine), a new category in the self-publishing world. Five issues were produced, the last one in 2001. During publication the zine was written about in The Village Voice and the editors collectively contributed to the seminal Riot Grrrl fanzine Girl Germs.

In the early 2000s, Jones began turning her attention to other subject matter in her drawings. Her work now explored darker themes: surreal lollipops; ruined buildings; car crashes; and the religious and pagan imagery of the illustrations she produced for Hex Magazine issue 2 in 2007, issue 7 in 2010, and issue 9 in 2011; and the frontispiece she produced for the Folk Horror publication Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies in 2015.

Jones' significant contribution to artist publications was most recently acknowledged in the book, In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955.[6]

Jones' work has appeared in a wide variety of media including film, fanzines, magazines, books, anthologies, posters, T-shirts, and on record, cassette and CDs, and their covers. As well, her drawings have been shown in art galleries and museums, and her films at film festivals, throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.

Exhibition history[edit]

Jones' first gallery was Feature Inc., curated by New York-based gallerist Hudson, who was the first art dealer to showcase her now famous Tom Girls series of drawings from 1991 to 1999.[7] She has also had solo exhibitions at La Centrale, Or Gallery, Mercer Union, and Sunday L.E.S. (now [[Horton Gallery]]), among others.

From 13 December 2010 to April 2011 the first full and comprehensive retrospective of Jones' work was held at Lexander in Los Angeles.[8]

From November 12 till December 17, 2017 Jones and Paul P. had a joint exhibition at Participant Inc. In New York City, showing the collages they started collaborating on in 2002, and again in 2016 and 2017, as well as Paul P,'s watercolour portraits of Jones and his sculpture.

The Hidden Cameras[edit]

G.B. Jones first began collaborating with The Hidden Cameras in 2003, as one of the many background singers on the album The Smell of Our Own. In 2004, produced the drawing for the back cover of The Hidden Cameras' EP The Arms of His 'Ill'. She appears briefly, dressed in black and wielding a knife, at the end of The Hidden Cameras video I Believe in the Good of Life which appeared in 2005. In 2013, she created the poster of Chelsea Manning for The Hidden Cameras album Age, and in 2016 directed the video for Dark End of the Street, from the album Home On Native Land.



Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "C Magazine Spring Fling 5: GB Jones". Cmagazine-sf5.blogspot.com. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Lollipop Generation – GB Jones". Jennywoolworth.ch. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  3. ^ "OMG video premiere: Opera Arcana's 'The Raven' !!". Omgblog.com. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  4. ^ "Quietus Review". Quietus.com. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  5. ^ "Q Movie Blog, "VIP Fave Q Movie Tip". Queermovieblog.com. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  6. ^ "Les presses du réel". Lespressesdureel.com. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  7. ^ "Feature Inc. Previous Exhibitions 1991". Feature Inc. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  8. ^ "Lexander Contemporary Art + Design". Lexander artSight. 29 January 2014. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Spencer, Amy; DIY: The Rise Of Lo-Fi, Marion Boyars Publishers, London, England, 2005 ISBN 0-7145-3105-7

External links[edit]