Surface edge shadow 2022
These pieces play with an illusion of shadow by using contrasting tonal effects on a simple form. They were made especially with this exhibition in mind.
The formal qualities of geometry and classic pattern are disrupted by the actions of heat and water on porcelain clay, pigments and metal, whilst trying to keep the illusion of that contradictory shadow, sharp edged. The more simple the form, the more visible the forceful interventions of water and heat.
Process is central to Jan's creative practice, a slow careful progress of colouring the clay, coiling, paring back, adding detail and refining surfaces, adding layers of slip and piercing the form, and firing up to three times. Integrating surface and form is a continuous engagement as in nature where surfaces are eroded and polished by weathering. Metals are often used in the structure of these vessel based sculptures, melted into the clay by the heat of the kiln.
Jan has an abiding interest in the physical structures of the land; including man-made structures, caves, coasts, mines and quarries and in topography, mapping, geology, and archaeology.
The physical components of clay, rocks, minerals, metals and pigments, and the extreme forces that have acted on them, are a constant fascination. Erosion changes and exposes structures; her house is full of treasures – rocks and minerals, metal and rusted weathered debris, brought home from forays into hills and coasts. The tracks of tiny crustaceans, birds and the traces of leaching minerals oozing through the sand of the Solway and Kent estuaries have also been an influence; their echoes can be found on the surfaces of these pieces.
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