Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sheffer Gallery - Jane Lennon

Jane Lennon describes her solo exhibition, ‘Plate it Up’ as whimsical objects embodying an impassioned plea to reconsider our sustenance. Jane manufactures her art material from discarded office paper, forms it into objects then applies many layers of sealers and washes to the surface. This exhibition contains abstract life forms and plates and occasionally a combination of both.

While painting her works she imagines the surface as representations of deep space or the ocean. Unless we all make radical changes Jane believes our planet is under great threat. Her contribution is to be vegan, make a new material out of paper and transform that into functional objects in the possibly naive hope that she can make a difference.

Usually known for sculpture, Jane has introduced another form of paper recycling to this exhibition – collage. Some of the titles of her works, ‘Earth Keeper-Urgently Recruiting’ and ‘Protective Species’ reflect her core philosophy of treading lightly on the earth.

Art Historians love finding influences in an artist’s oeuvre and while Jane’s imagery is distinctive I see the subtle presence of Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig in many of her works. Leunig’s images are disarming with their whimsical gentleness, but suggest a grittier sadness and truth. This is very much the case of Jane’s work. Sure her sculptures are superficially fun but there is a melancholic side to her objects. Environmental art has a history that goes back to the 1970s. While most environmental artist’s are content working outdoors, Jane’s images are focused within the domestic sphere. 

Silas Clifford-Smith

3rd September – 6th September 2014

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