TITLE OF EXHIBITION
finders, keepers, arrangements, obsessions
This exhibition is about finding – searching for objects hidden away in old sewing boxes which belonged to my great grandmother. It is about keeping these things and questioning why human beings possess the desire to find, keep and collect.
It is about how one collects, decides to keep and then how these ‘obsessions’ are arranged – sometimes alone and sometimes combined within a series.
These things become obsessions to the point of the collections/findings/ arrangements occupying space for generations.
My exhibition aims at examining what causes the human phenomenon of collection and exhibition or display. It is a human phenomenon either to collect and display or to visit collections and displays or both. It is through these presentations of objects/images – which can be didactic or reminiscent – that we endeavor to make sense of ourselves. It is our surroundings which we make ours through findings, keepings, arranging these findings and keepings and living with them occupying a peripheral space in our consciousness.
DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT WORK BY JANE E. JARVIS
My work has its roots in the examination of my ‘colonial’ past. I have examined my past through the visual objects that I grew up with. Some of these were the crocheted lace doilies, Royal Albert porcelain and antique furniture that my mother collected. Many of the items ‘on display’ in my family home had their origins in the homeland (England). My mother’s obsession with collecting and displaying furniture and ornaments is reflected in my use of objects selected for portrayal in my mixed media artwork, often incorporating the actual object from the past by deconstruction. Hence, my heritage is used as an integral part of my work: lace imprints in clay and wax are combined with fragile materials to enhance meaning. My mother and her mother were collectors and sewers. I am a sewer descending from generations of needlewomen so these techniques are an integral part of my exhibition.
The use of insects and dead birds are symbols of the fragility of life and objects collected which are precious and perfect yet ephemeral. They are beautiful in their detail and pattern yet are made to not last.
I bring together disparate materials in one work (clay, wax, drawing, oil paint) often to highlight their fragility yet on a deeper level to examine and deconstruct what is collected and how it is displayed within a colonial home.
The images and objects shift from the recognizable to the obscure in order to engage the viewer in meaningful dialogue. The collections in my work are conversant with the objets that the viewer might assemble to make his/her world meaningful.