|Inside Jan’s Studio with works in progress|
Jan: Yes, Brancusi is an infl uence on my work as is Henry Moore and Anthony Caro, just to name a few; these sculptors deal with what I consider to be the fundamentals of sculpture; space, mass and form. With these principles in mind my sculpture persues an enquiry into the physical and mental world that I inhabit, to distill some form and stillness from the fl ux that is life. This country has a sense of boundless space and horizons, there is a feeling of timeless mystery expressed by the song of it’s ancient custodians, these are a hidden yet integral influence in my work. My fascination with Carl Jung’s scholarly work on symbols also bears influence, as does the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Philip Glass and jazz . My aesthetic pull is towards Minimalism, the Bauhaus Movement and the clout of Mayan, Classical Greek and Palladian architecture is hard to get away from.
Jan: No, although I always wanted to be an artist. My early days were spent at an easel. I was fortunate enough to attend art school in the UK where I studied both 2d and 3d art. It was only in my later years that I had the road to Damascus moment and I realized that I was able to visualize the third dimension having not realized that not everyone could see around corners!
Question: Your sculptures demonstrate your tremendous skill in wood carving. When did you start creating in this medium? What is your preferred type of wood to work with?
Jan: About twelve years ago after a career and lifestyle change. Regarding wood as an expressive medium the Australian hardwoods, red gum and jarrah are at the top of my list; the harder the better as they allow me to create sharp edges and the rich deep brown, red colour often beguiles me! For pale coloured forms I often use a white limed fi nish and fi nd the light coloured jelutong and kauri
woods useful. Finally I cannot go past a twisted limb found on the wayside from the aftermath of a storm, this can always be a surprise and lead me down some interesting creative paths.
Jan: Yes, I have been an ASV member for about ten years and it has allowed me to network with like-minded souls. Although I’m not making a living as a sculptor, the programme of shows the ASV organizes every year gives me enough goals to aim for, so there is not a week goes by where I am not thinking or working on a current or forthcoming sculpture. It is always interesting to see how other members are developing their work and styles and tapping in to their knowledge base which can pay dividends.