My long-term project – to produce a body of work on the theme of the earth – has been on hold since the spring, because the last few months have been all about teaching and re-connecting with friends and former students. Meeting up with my family was also put on hold but, now that I am no longer tied to the studio, I can get down south and visit them too.
Meanwhile, I am pulling out of storage all the part-developed cloth that I have been amassing and looking for a direction for each piece. My last teaching group was small, so I have already made a wee bit of a start by stitching alongside them and last week I actually completed my first piece for exhibition. This image is a detail from “The Midas Sun”.
And so “Earthworks” is now top of my creative agenda once again. I look forward, as autumn takes hold, of finding a way to realise my yearning to make this work. I have less than a year in which to do it. I know that sounds a lot, but life does get in the way and I think I will be very pleased if I can make this deadline. Here we go …
Jan's Studio in Elphin is open to visitors from 13th April until 12th October, most Wednesdays, between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.
If travelling a distance to visit, it might be a good idea to check in advance that the studio is open and that I am not running a course that week.
Private viewings are available at other times all through the year. Please email Jan or telephone 01854 666279 to arrange a time that suits you.
See the Open Studio page for more details.
New Card Designs
I have turned a close up of one of the Earthworks panels, The Midas Sun, into a greetings card. And I have added it to a selection of earlier card designs to make a Winter Selection pack. They are available to buy through my on-line card shop, at my studio during Open Studio days. Why not nurture a love of nature by sending someone you love one of these distinctive cards? Visit the Card Shop to see them for yourself.
In the course of last year's lockdown, there weremany opportunities for little moments of observation of the landscape and the flora and fauna to be found within and outwith my garden. Indeed, the quiet roads and the slow rhythm to each day allowed me to go deeper into my connection with the natural world. And as the weeks turned into months, a slow-simmering plan for a new body of work emerged. Everything comes from the earth and returns to the earth. It is the larder that provides for all living beings. And, in one form or another, eventually holds all our secrets and memories.
This is a theme that I have touched upon many a time, but now that I have spent several years developing the use of plants, minerals and found materials to make marks on cloth, I feel that I have the tools, the medium and the imagery to create some work worthy of this theme. But it will be a slow process, in thought and deed. I imagine that I might have a collection of work - visual and written - in around a year's time, just around my sixtieth birthday. I plan to call this collection, and the accompanying book, Earthworks, and hope to exhibit the work in autumn and winter 2022.
My use of new media is limited to Instagram and the updating of this website. So, I have created a website page for this new project and will occasionally post an image or piece of writing, should you be interested to look. But most of the work will be under wraps until I feel that it is ready to share with an audience.
I am very excited to be taking on such a big theme over such a long period of time and hope that I can do the theme justice. But, there is only one way to find out!
21 August 2020
Mairearad Green, renowned musician, composer, artist and long-time collaborator of mine, is about to release a series of limited edition vinyl records under the collective title of Hearth. They record and celebrate Mairearad’s forebears, the women of Coigach who have walked the same land she walks today.
Most of the lyrics were written by me in collaboration with Mairearad, or by me alone, so I am particularly excited to see this project come to fruition. Of course, the music is all Mairearad’s own, as are the sumptuously expressive paintings she has created for the vinyl sleeves.
Each record is individually numbered and is accompanied by a free booklet of lyrics and images. They are available to buy individually, or as a collection. Visually, the covers are rich and highly evocative of the Coigach landscape and the sound of each recording is ethereal and many-layered. What a privilege it has been for me to be involved, in a small way, in the making of such an immersive piece of art. To find out more, or to buy, please visit the shop page of Mairearad’s website.
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