Catalogue Published March 2023
THE VALUE IN THINGS
by Emma Crichton Miller
With the ceramic sculptures of Janet Lines, the clay offers simultaneously an illusion of rippling textile and an echo a highly contoured landscape, whilst also being the abstract record of the period of making, the movement of Lines’s own mind, expressed through her hands, as she builds, pushes and pulls. The vulnerability of this bag – an exile’s only possession? A mother’s womb? – is enhanced by patches of ash or Lines’s own finger marks on the surface, suggesting narrative, and yet, as the dark of ash at the rim testifies, this is also an exercise in sophisticated abstract art making – drawing a black line around a hole, defining a void.
by Malaika Byng
The British maker Janet Lines, meanwhile, explores the fragility of the material with her paper-thin stoneware vessels. They appear to twist and contort, as if cowering in fear or discomfort. Ceramic vessels have long held a metaphorical weight, with their connection to human origin stories and their resemblance to the body. For Lines, they carry the emotion of dislocation – that vulnerable state of being confronted by the unknown, an experience we can all identify with. She often smoke- fires her work, to darken the exposed rims and interiors, giving them a sombre beauty.