Environmental portraits have almost come to me by chance. I never set out to do them but when people started asking I was more than happy to oblige and soon discovered that I absolutely loved them. Forget the daunting process of heading off to a studio with bright lights shining down on you whilst you are sitting on a funny looking stool, staring at a complete stranger and trying your very best to ‘relax and be yourself’.
Environmental portraits are completely the opposite. For me, it’s a discovery into someone else’s life and I really try to get to know the person before and during the shoot. We chat away about life, work, love and everything in-between and I always walk away thinking, wow, I am in awe!
In Jane’s case, I had spoken to her a fair bit before I went over to her house to shoot. So I was very excited to meet her. I knew that her house was the perfect location for her shoot as it is her studio and she is an interior designer so it was inevitable that her abode was just stunning. I wasn’t wrong. She made me coffee and we sat and chatted about her life and her goals. I was blown away. Jane is the perfect example of someone who seizes the moment and has, excuse my language, the balls to follow her dreams. She is a true inspiration in that you only have one life so even if you spend the most minimal amount of time working on your passion, you will be a happier person for it. Who knows, it might even grow into a career.
Here is what Jane has to say..
‘For approximately 20 years I have incorporated my collage art into my projects as an interior designer, but my design practice has always taken up the bulk of my time and attention with the collage/mixed media pictures being done in spurts, whenever I needed them for a project. I never seemed to have the time to spend developing my ideas and trying out new techniques, maybe incorporating lino printing, painting and even moulding paper pulp to create raised images.
I qualified as a dress designer before studying interior design and loved weaving and applique and all things crafty. I could make anything with fabric. All the skills which I have neglected in the busy years.
I really want to go back to my hippy flower child roots and be a full-time artist, reviving my old skills and developing my new ones, using all the things I have learned as a practicing interior designer about scale, proportion, colour and texture to make my pictures. As to my new image, I don’t know if I could still do justice to cheesecloth dresses and Indian skirts with bells but I’m working on the ‘too many rings on my fingers and glue splattered jeans’. Would a pick-up truck be too much?
Anyway, I am determined on this old/new chapter of my life. The Dandelion Market may be no more but I might introduce collage art to the railings of Stephen’s Green. When it gets warmer of course!’
View her work here.