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Jane Sheppard

Cloth and clay 2024

Jane works with clay.  She believes that it connects us globally with our earliest ancestry and common humanity.  Immediate and receptive, it links her emotionally with our planet. She is drawn to its metaphorical language and ancient stories that speak of a bond between humanity, clay and the creator. Clay has so much to say.


Her work is process driven; using the ancient coiling technique is a slow, immersive process with little room for error, it brings time for deep contemplation. Every applied coil is significant in the direction of the emerging form.  Each stage contributes to a ritual process – clay preparation, the slow build, scraping to reveal the pure form, burnishing.  It's lengthy, laborious, real.  It calls Jane to slow down and pay attention. 


Jane is attentive to the atmosphere in form and space.  The layering of time and presence harnessed in environments. The unseen and the witnessed both held energetically.  It’s a subtle acknowledgement of collectivity and flow, power and dynamic.  Stories.  A continuum.  Deep time.  Much of her work is informed by the shaped neolithic landscape and findings of her locality on the Somerset/ Wiltshire borders.  Further afield, petroglyphs and sacred spaces from travels in Europe and Africa all find their way into a ground of collective inheritance.


Working with smoke as a surface treatment enables a sense of the ephemeral and organic.  It’s like painting with ghosts; a transient live surface that echoes cave art.  


Jane aims for a sense of the sacred and universally familiar.  A call to reconnection with the mysterious and omnipresent.  The seen and unseen, known and unknown.

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