Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Art Bright as a Button

Think of those magic times spent in family around a huge puzzle. Think of the excitement of finding the right piece to fit the right empty space which was there just waiting to be discovered and covered. Think of all the times when, passing by the table where the puzzle lay under construction, suddenly and quite unexpectedly another piece was spotted and added to the work in project. Think of the pure joy and sheer feeling of achievement when the very last piece was fit into the whole picture! Those are happy memories many of us are lucky enough to have in our minds.

Jane Perkins creates the most beautiful works of art following a process that reminds us of the puzzles of our memories. Having worked as a nurse for seventeen years in a London hospital, she one day decided to unleash her talents by getting a degree in textiles in 2006 and starting a career as an artist, developing a very particular style which has stirred the art world for its originality.

Having started by using discarded jewellery, marbles, coins, sea shells, driftwood and other found materials, she then evolved into more refined kinds of creations which drew their inspiration from Ecuadorian artists, who adapt broken pieces of jewellery in their original designs. In the meantime, found buttons have gained a particular relevance in her work.

According to her own words, Jane Perkins enjoys creating art works which can offer an element of fun and unexpected which can make viewers smile. The resulting colourful products actually remind us of inspired, artistic puzzles whose pieces have been carefully selected, chosen and combined so as to delight our eyes and set us on a treasure hunt game to discover the different materials and pieces making up her stunning portraits.

In fact, at a certain stage in her career, Jane Perkins started making portraits first inspired by Matisse’s depiction of his wife. She uses any objects of the right size, shape and colour directly as she finds them, with no alterations introduced to them.

Curiously enough, and like several other artists we have featured before, the Impressionists – and Georges Seurat with his pointillism approach – offer a wide field of inspirations for Jane Perkins, owing to the combination of the kind of technique required with the nature of the items used. Just as it happens with the work of Impressionists, her art pieces are better appreciated if viewers see them from a distance to capture the likeness depicted in her portraits and then give it a second close up gaze to identify the materials.

This, again, brings to our minds the process of puzzle building and the techniques thereby required. It further reminds us of that homely entertainment as Jane Perkins’s artworks are actually constructed as a puzzle.

Her version of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” – which inspired the famous writer Tracy Chevalier’s celebrated novel and which, in turn, was adapted to a movie picture with the same title – deserved the enthusiastic appreciation of the mentioned novelist, who stated that this is a “gorgeous reinterpretation of the painting” and that “Jane Perkins has taken the portrait a step beyond and made it her own – a textured image that [Chevalier bets] would make Vermeer smile”.

No comments:

Post a Comment