Visitors at DRAW 13, the Society’s music-themed 92nd Annual Open Exhibition, would have spotted New Work, a booklet by Jane Walker ASGFA with 24 pages of distinctive strip-format drawings that are part of her search for a new pictorial space. We asked Jane to select one of the artworks from the book for Image of the Month and tell us how it came about.
“17 a depicts, in their modern setting, the castle ruins of Luxembourg that fascinated JMW Turner. This work links two separate ideas.
1. I made experiments recording, on Japanese paper, the interactions between pigments and the way the colours separated or mixed.
This led me to repeat images and collage them together in grids or blocks. I wanted to make them look a bit like chemical experiments, as colour is an indicator of a chemical change. A selection of the chemical experiments were shown at the Beldam Gallery at Uxbridge University in 2010, and the gallery bought one for their collection. I also often use line separate from other elements — in my work the expression is in the line.
My booklet New Work also includes selected artworks that incorporate oil paint and watercolour, as I was looking for ways to use these two traditional media together. I published the booklet primarily for France, as this kind of work was immediately popular there, but it has never been of much interest here in the UK.
2. 17a is based on a view of Luxembourg that JMW Turner painted in 1840, but seen as it is today, with the addition of more modern buildings, trees and railways.
Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery selected the “chemical experiments” for a solo exhibition. When I was beginning to research Turner’s views of Luxembourg, the museum published “In Turner’s Footsteps”, so I had to make a body of work that combined these two separate ideas. The pieces illustrated here are the result.
Turner, too, experimented with his paints and other materials. As my work developed, compositional and formal considerations affected the way I collaged the images together. I had originally numbered the pieces so that aesthetic selection would not influence the final compositions. I developed the compositions because I wanted to find a new type of pictorial space, one that was abstract and relied on layers of images, rather than a figurative illusion of space.
Now I am reviewing these decisions. The unique quality of collage is the surprises it throws up along the way, and the repeated images relate to my interest in musical composition.”
Profile of the artist
Jane Walker ASGFA studied at Sheffield Hallam University and the Royal Academy Schools. She has had solo exhibitions in Bordeaux, at the Atkinson Gallery in Southport and the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery.
Since September 2013 Jane’s exhibitions include The Big Draw at Tokarska Gallery in London, Open exhibition 2013: Drawing at Salisbury Art Centre, and Visions of Yorkshire at The Art Station, Huddersfield. In 2014 Jane will be exhibiting in the Salon International d’Art Contemporain Marseille in March, and in Kaysersberg (Alsace) with two Japanese artists in June.
Jane’s ink drawing Melting Snow II won the Arqadia Award for a Work in Monochrome at DRAW 11, the Society’s 90th Annual Open Exhibition. Her self portrait shown here was exhibited in the Ruth Borchard self portrait exhibition at Kings Place Gallery in London. Jane lives and works in Sheffield.
For more about Jane and her work please visit her web page here http://www.axisweb.org/p/janewalker/