(b. 1956 UK)
“There is always an excitement of working with intention while creating something unknown to me, watching it grow, weighing up its mass, contours, balancing the form to retain vigour from all perspectives. I can only fully realise and understand the outcome on completion.”
Janet Lines during the creation of a ceramic
Janet Lines investigates the unknown and the emotions this precarious state brings into being. Her sculptures explore the external and internal, both physically and metaphorically. Openings, the junction between space occupied and contained, are reminiscent of mouths, entrances to narrow passageways or cavernous interiors. Using metaphors of sticks, bundles and sacks, familiar objects in abstract form, these pieces articulate the fragile and vulnerable state of displacement and dis-belonging; of being confronted by the Unknown. Her processes are simple. Sculptures coiled from ribbons of clay, marks of making left evident. She uses terra sigillata, smoke firings or glazes rubbed into the clay surface to accentuate the beauty of material and making. Working in series, incremental change allows one form to beget another, to grow into themselves. A slow metamorphosis.
Janet Lines during the creation of a ceramic
“This work embodies mystery, it is profoundly abstract, difficult to grasp and define, but it is rooted in clearly delineated thinking. There is a tension between the clarity of the thinking and expression against the opacity and elusiveness of the subject matter – it is knowingly about the unknown. The work is also about itself and its materiality. We can see (and feel) the making and the act of enquiry through action. The boundary edge is clearly defined but, in the bumps and undulations of the form we can see the negotiation between the interior and exterior being played out. It uses the language of the vessel and the container – hollowness and a definition of space – but eludes being labelled or limited by this in its mysterious abstraction.”

Nicholas Lees.



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