Monday, October 12, 2009

Jane Vernon's real deal artist's statement

I've been asked to provide an A4 artist's statement for customers and yesterday I put together a piece based on earlier statements but including the kind of details which had been asked for. I showed it to M. He said that far from showing the kind of person and artist that he knows I am, it portrayed me as a rather boring dilettante. This would not do! I've therefore cast aside conventional formats and written my real deal artist's statement. I'm rather pleased with it. Enjoy!

If you’ve been to Stroud and seen a large, talkative woman dressed in purple, it’s likely to have been me. I’ve always had plenty to say and that’s at the core of my work as an artist. Wrapped up in each piece of work I make, is something I’m passionate about.

Since I was very young I’ve wanted to make things from fabric and threads. I trained in Textiles at Bath in the seventies and for a while followed the fashion of the times for hairy weavings in muted colours. Eventually, in the mid-eighties, I found time to explore embroidery and Colour. It’s astonishing to me that it took me so long as all my textiles work since then has been inspired primarily by the never-ending possibilities of colour. Since the mid-nineties I have been making wallhangings, influenced equally by the textiles of the East and the natural world. My fish, birds, lizards and flowers are represented in rich colour blends by silk-painting, appliqué, machine and hand embroidery, beads, sequins and metallic threads. Each piece is finished with hanging ceramic pieces or beads or tassels.

Many of my hangings are reproduced as photographic greetings cards. I also make several ranges of silk-painted cards where I can indulge in a little frivolity and humour, painting birds with wacky hairstyles and cats and pigs in greens and purples.

Immediately after finishing my textiles training I went on a course at Douglas Phillips’ Ridge Pottery (in Somerset) and discovered an affinity for clay. After some years attending courses during the holidays, I changed from full-time to part-time teaching, set up a small pottery workshop at home and began producing tableware, which has been the focus of my pottery work ever since.

When you use one of my pots you are using something made by someone who loves food. No mug is made without my imagining the taste of tea, coffee or cocoa, no bowl without the smell of home-made soup, no oven dish without the sight of lasagne or plum crumble being presented to eager guests. Robust and practical, my pots are designed for everyday use and decorated in a way which I hope makes them visually pleasing but not overwhelming.

I’ve been a keen photographer since I had my first Brownie at the age of eight and in recent years photography has been an increasing part of my art work as I try to pass on in an image the essence of something that has thrilled me when I’ve seen it. Some of these images are available as greetings cards or prints.

I now work full-time as an artist but use my teaching experience in occasional workshops where I really enjoy the enthusiasm of the students for the materials and techniques that I love.


  1. Been meaning to read this since you posted it, but didn't have time then. Now the quince pickle has dragged me in, and I've finally caught up. Excellent stuff, and very "you". I sounds just like the person I know - always a tricky challenge when writing. Good job! xx

  2. Thank you!
    Like the idea of your being dragged in by quince pickle, by the way :)