Updated: Jun 8, 2022
Janette Kerr - Artists Talk
Janette Kerr’s talk has stirred up some ideas that were forming in my own practice. Kerr explores the world through her art, she works in a huge variety of media; she has travelled to residencies from Norway to Iceland and often works collaboratively with other artists. The variety of work she produces has the central theme of place that ties it all together, a thread running through that ensures her work is cohesive. I was impressed by how hard she obviously works and how her own inquisitive nature keeps her art fresh and interesting. There is a passion in her work that seems (to me) to be an almost scientific questioning or searching - but not for solid or whole answers necessarily because it is the questions that are important. She has a drive to explore and creates art from her experiences. Working outside is very important to her and she seems to transfer the energy of the experience into her work. When looking at her seascapes the viewer can feel the movement of the sea and imagines the taste of salt spray.
“Janette Kerr is a painter deeply embedded in place. She works at the interface between land, sea and historical experience. She writes, ‘My paintings represent immediate responses to sound and silences within the landscape around me; they are about movement and the rhythms of sea and wind, swelling and breaking waves, the merging of spray with air, advancing rain and mist, glancing sunlight - elements that seem to be about something intangible.’” (Kerr, 2018)
A Sense of Place
She spoke about capturing a sense of what has happened in a place, which is something I feel connected to or something that I am naturally drawn towards in my work so hearing her describe it has made me think of the possibility of those musings as a foundation for creating art. I am so much part of these islands and these people that I cannot separate myself or my art from them and I would not want to but maybe if I look at it form another perspective I can make a comment on them without it becoming too personal, a comment on the power of the weather in the dark days or the sounds of wind or the old folks sucked in breathe like guisers.
Janette Kerr showed how she has taken risks in her work. Even if it does not work out it could be a catalyst for another piece of work.
I felt inspired by her use of a broad range of media; her experimenting and experiencing new things which keeps her work fresh. She also advised us that it is helpful to be flexible and open to ideas; that an artist often need to allow time for ideas to materialise.