Artist of the Month- Jane Colquhoun
Posted 21 March 2023
Dorset Visual Art's Member Jane Colquhoun is our artist of the month for March. She is part of an exhibition at Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis until Thursday 13th April.
Anya and Leslie by Jane Colquhoun
Here's what she had to say about her practice and working in Dorset:
'My textile work explores the shape of communities: the configuration of bodies in a space, engaged in a similar pastime such as swimming or a visit to the beach; the shape of family, as it transforms with each generation and themes of kinship and belonging.
For the exhibition ‘Primavera’ in Lyme Regis, I have developed a series of tiny quilted figures based on Swanage’s community of year-round swimmers. ‘Wild swimming’ represents a celebration of nature, with participants often rising at dawn to catch the sunrise or dipping at full moon or the equinoxes. The work references and celebrates the spring equinox, with the swimmers emerging as maidens with crowns of flowers, as queens or goddesses, mermaids and other hybrid creatures.
These ‘ort’ figures were developed during a 2022 residency for the Holburne Museum, Bath, where I researched ideas for the seam collective’s touring exhibition A visible THREAD, which will be showing at Fine Foundation Gallery, Durlston in May. Small figures are layered from scrap fabrics and ‘orts’, held together with a machine stitched outline of a female figure from my family. The resultant figures expose the Old Random Threads literally and metaphorically as a representation of family ties.
A Beach by Jane Colquhoun
Living and working in Dorset certainly influences my artistic practice. I grew up in Swanage and consider this my home-town, though I am still not certain if I can be classed as proper Purbeck local. My connection to the seaside and coastal landscape is central to what I do. My embroideries grew out of a project for a popular local gallery to produce postcard sized pieces and as I was stitching I became fascinated with the patterns formed by the jumble of people and paraphernalia on Swanage beach and so the work developed. I am working on an expanding piece of work that began as an exploration of the shape of my family through time but this has already grown to consider a wider community of friends, memories and shared pastimes, like a ‘sisterhood’ of winter swimmers, Purbeck landmarks, what it means to be local.'
You can find out more of Jane Colquhoun work here and see her Dorset Visual Arts profile here. Find out more about the exhibition Jane is involved in here.