JAN GARDNER SOLO ART SHOW, 19/07/03-14/9/03 Ruthin Craft Centre, Norh Wales, UK

From: S.J.D
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 03 August 2003


Ruthin Craft Centre Park Road, Ruthin

Garden Secrets Paintings by Jan Gardner 19/07/03 – 14/9/03

Ruthin Craft Centre, Studio Eight Gallery houses a new solo show of paintings by Jan Gardner entitled Garden Secrets until 14th September.

The twenty-two paintings averaging in size of 48cm x 36cm entices the viewer to explore the visual delight of richness in these psychedelic (rainbow effect) colours. Jan’s gardens are set in idyllic heavenly Welsh landscapes. The Great Outdoors swims in splendour, washes of luminous greens, purple skies, fire top mountains and elegant gardens that encapsulate the viewer. Jan’s gardens could automatically come from fairy tales that send the viewer floating off with the sensational atmosphere of ethereal euphoria. Early atmospheric Pink Floyd’s music Remember a Day, Cirrus Minor or Julia Dream conjures up the same moods, visuals and textures that Jan’s paintings instil. Elements of her works - lawns, streams, vines, cats and old iron gates standout with a great deal of chaotic splashes of colour, mood pieces and dreamy days. The paintings she creates sets off our memory of basking in a peaceful garden, looking out at a picturesque landscape in the warm glow of a mid summers afternoon.

Jan explains, ‘This work is inspired by my response to places remembered and imagined. It evolves from elements of the natural world and the decorative content is intuitive.

Jan’s paintings Towards Dolwyddelan, Morning Mood and Into The West show a cohesive pattern of bright joyous, fiery, lush colour with an intricate visual depth of foliage. She mixes different medias: watercolour on paper, pastels, ink pens, gold leaf and pasting twirled patterns of vines and petals on card gives a wealth of diversity in one impression.

‘I love the process of manipulating colour upon the surface: mark-making, exploration of shapes and mixing media offers less structured and melodic compositions’, says Jan.

Born in Rhyl, Jan studied at Winchester School of Art, Hampshire BA (hons) Printed Textiles in the late 1970’s. From then on Jan has exhibited fifteen national and local group shows since 1979 and sold artworks privately in UK, France and New Zealand. Jan has also found time to exhibit four solo art shows in the past nine years. Jan has lectured at Art Colleges, Universities and Galleries, workshops and projects in Schools. She returned to live in North Wales in 2002: Since then she has established her own studio and has been a successful animal artist. She has won several major art prizes in the UK.

‘I like the experience of change and use reality to create the sequence through mark making – imagined forms the poetry of the image. Pattern, collaged like jigsaw process, lets the colour and shapes make decisions and can leave lines that contrast with the textures and solid colour’ explains Jan

Garden Secrets is a very colourful, atmospheric, tactile, vibrant textured view into the eye of a creative artist’s mind of environmental idyllic gardens and landscapes. Jan’s background in textiles has influenced her in the use of mixed-medias. Her paintings are a candy store of colour giving the viewer a visual feast at a gallery banquet.

‘My recent work celebrates an essence and spirit of place: a garden spent time in and remembered birdsong; the colour of the breeze; rustle of grass or the blue hue of the horizon - all offering a sense of wonder, surprise and magic’, explains Jan.

Jan lets us in to her dreams and we find a warming, vibrant and spiritual place to reside.

Reviewed by S J D