December 09, 2008
artist jane gillings
I really seem to be caught in a time lag when it comes to art exhibitions at the moment. Just checking the date of Jane Gillings' show at NG Art and I realise it finished this weekend just gone. Ggggrrr. So for now I'm going to have to content myself with these images and get a Filofax or a better diary system happening next year. As for Jane, well, it's no surprise that she worked in the taxidermy department at the Australian Museum. Or that she describes herself as a hoarder. It just goes to show what beauty can come out of someone else's rubbish.
Which five words best describe you? Compulsive, disciplined, spontaneous, organised, capable.
What's your proudest achievement? I had a dream once where I had an argument with an art dealer. He was telling me my artwork was rubbish and to come back when I had something good to show him. I told him that I had already done my best work and that he would never be able to afford it because it was priceless. I turned and pointed to my daughter. She will always be my greatest achievement.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? I've been sculpting using discarded plastic for a number of years now and sometimes make things for friends and family for special occasions. I made a satin bowerbird as a gift for my brother on his 50th birthday. We are both collectors and hoarders. I thought the bird was a good metaphor for the both of us. I made it using pieces of plastic a bowerbird might use to decorate his bower and it started me thinking that I could make all sorts of other birds with plastic. Like so many people, I love birds. Looking at them, watching their behaviour, marvelling at their sometimes spectacular plumage. Why not just make some?
Who inspires you? People who persevere.
What are you passionate about? Right now? My new skateboard. It's a Smoothstar.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? Don't give up.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Fiona Hall. I did meet her once but I was a blabbering mess. I must have come across as a real loony. She had just installed her retrospective at the MCA and looked exhausted. I was in awe and had trouble speaking. I'd talk hand tools and potential sculpture materials.
What are you reading? Always reading and re-reading Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It's an inspirational book and relates well to questions 4 and 6. I'm also currently looking at bird books.
Art images courtesy of Jane Gillings and NG Art; image of Jane in her studio courtesy of SMH and Edwina Pickles