Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Q & A with Jane Bevan, first time Makers' Fair exhibitor

Tell us about the work you do and the types of materials you use.

I make vessels and small sculptures using found, natural materials which I collect in local woodlands each day. For example birch bark from fallen trees, twigs, thorns, seeds and feathers. I look for the humble, overlooked materials which would otherwise be trodden on or thrown away. I then stitch, bind, tie and twine the materials together to make my work which is painstaking and slow but very satisfying to make!

Where do you produce your work? Does your working environment form part of the inspiration for your art?

I work from my home in rural South Derbyshire and walk every day in the area searching for materials. When possible I also beachcomb and forage in other countryside areas for new ideas including the Yorkshire Dales where I am a frequent visitor.

Is your art your main job?

Yes although this year will also see the publication of my art book instructing users on making art with found, natural materials published by Bloomsbury. Previously I worked in museums and galleries as a curator ( including many years at Cartwright Hall in Bradford)

How did you get started?

After a 25 year career in the arts as a curator and event organiser I went back to Derby University as a mature student to fulfil my dream of being an artist. It was a perfect time to undertake the studies after seeing so much artwork over the years made by others. I am a passionate visitor of museums and galleries including the Yorkshire Museums, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth. I gain a great deal of inspiration from collections such as Pitt Rivers in Oxford and the British Museum where natural materials have been used in innovative and exciting ways.

What work will you be exhibiting at the Saltaire Arts Trail?

Pots and vessels made of bark, feathers, twigs and horse chestnut leaf stems! These range in size from 10 cms to 30 cms high. All are stitched by hand. Framed collaged work Some pebble/ beach debris jewellery

Do you work in any other mediums besides the work you will be exhibiting at the Arts Trail?

I am exploring making temporary artwork in the woodlands which I will be photographing

Where else can we see and buy your work?

My work can be seen on the Seek and Adore and Craftfinder website. I have showcase exhibitions currently in Lincolnshire( South Holland Arts Centre) and at the Djanogly Gallery in Nottingham. My work is stocked by Derby Art Gallery and Museum and the Dansel Wood Gallery in Abbotsbury, Dorset. I will be exhibiting at Lustre Craft Fair in Nottingham in November this year for the 3 rd time and also at the Melbourne Festival which I also help to organise. I have a showcase exhibition at the 20 21 Gallery in Scunthorpe in September called ‘Walking with Nature’.

Tell us about your most exciting or memorable commission?

From my degree show the University of Derby bought my work as a Purchase Prize and the Few and Far Gallery in London purchased work.
What was it about the Saltaire Arts Trail that made you want to apply to exhibit?

Having lived in Bradford for many years I have long been a supporter of the arts in the area and have a great nostalgia and love of Saltaire, in particular since seeing Opera North perform in the mill in the 1980s!

Have you participated or visited the Saltaire Arts Trail before?

Visited last year

What is unique about it and how does it differ from other events?

The friendly, intimate and warm atmosphere, the Yorkshire hospitality, the houses and architecture.

Could you leave us with one more interesting fact about yourself or your work?

I have recently overcome any squeamishness after a taxidermy course. I also like to pluck the feathers which I use from road kill or a friends bird stock.

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