needles and pins
This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.
In response to the request, on my last blog, for more insight into the work of level 3 painting students, I would like to talk a little about student Jane Hordern and her work, which combines several themes.
One theme is her memories of her own wartime childhood. She is not making work about memory or reminiscence explicitly, in fact she is working hard to avoid ‘vintage chic’ but rather is looking at exploring ideas around safety, happiness, pleasure which her own happy childhood gave her. There is an understanding implicit in the work though that her childhood years (1939 onwards) were some of the most painful and traumatic in recent history. How these two different perspectives sit together in the work is one of the paradigms under consideration.
Jane has also organised a mini residency at a dressmaker’s workshop which has resulted in a very productive sketchbook and lots of source photography. She has taken these images back to her studio and started to play around with the forms and rhythms of the tools and equipment in the workshop.
Jane has an affinity with minimalism and tends to arrange things exquisitely. She seems to have a feeling for movement and rhythm within forms and composition. Much of her work is almost monochrome and collaged, but I am using illustrations here mostly from her work using safety pins which is painted and more gestural. There is work to be done in terms of understanding these two sides to Jane’s practice and how they can work together. Do they complement each other, or can they be combined? Her work with corsetry, also illustrated, begins to address this.
Jane’s process seems to be about largely paring down and placing forms with great sensitivity. In paint that shifts and the illusory depth encourages a little more chaos and chance. She is approaching the end of her course, currently working on her last assignment, so it will be interesting to see what sense she makes of these potential contradictions.