Monday, 5 February 2018

Maker's Lunch - JANE MUIR

This was the first Makers Lunch of the Gallery year and it established a high standard for those to come in our future lunch programme.

        Jane Muir has exhibited with the gallery over the last few years. She has previously brought so much pleasure to our visitors with her sculptures both large and small. They are pieces that  make an immediate impact. It is their anonymity that allows us to identify for ourselves familiar individuals. Subtle colour and seductive surface textures are key elements in her work; immensely appealing but never sentimental. Importantly her work always generates a smile, which should never be underestimated in these times. It has been said that Jane's work offers an uncomplicated and idiosyncratic view of the world.
Jane gave a helpful and insightful introduction to her sculptures. She emphasised that she had always preferred making sculpture rather than other decorative or domestic ware. She enjoys drawing and painting but much of what emerges in clay comes straight to hand. The small male and female figures which she has been making for a long time started life as test pieces for her glazes which are predominantly made by her. They have clearly become a feature of her range of work and she has probably made a few thousand of them , which are spread across the world. Rather incredibly, each one appears to have its own personality!
Jane emphasised the value of discussions of this kind with ceramic enthusiasts generally as well as admirers of her work. Making is a lonely and singular activity and the feedback that comes from such contact  is supportive and helpful in terms of perceptions of her pieces whatever they may be.
She sees herself continuing to make for a long time and although she is currently exploring more abstract work currently she did not see any major shift in style. In any event her name is well established through the response to her figures and their distinctive voice and change could impact on her ability to sell her work – bearing in mind she has made a living from making and selling over a good many years.
Everyone who attended the lunch engaged so easily with Jane and the two hours spent together had considerable mutual benefit I suspect. For my part I am extremely grateful for the effort she made to join us travelling from London.
Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
5 Feb 2018


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