Janet began her art studies, concentrating on drawing and printmaking, at the Sydney Gallery School, Meadowbank TAFE. She has participated in numerous art workshops in Sydney and overseas. Most recently she has concentrated on painting and mixed media work. Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Janet has lived and worked in Sydney, Australia since the 1970’s. Over the past seven years she has practiced as a visual artist, and has exhibited widely in Sydney with three solo exhibitions and numerous group shows.
Janet’s paintings in this show are part of her Brides series.
“Since 2013 I have intermittently experimented making artworks about brides. African sculptures also appear in my bride pictures. Very different from the image of sweet innocence and delicate bridal silk is the heavy Yoruba Gèlèdé headdress, which depicts a placid, inscrutable older woman. Atop the wooden head sit symbols of strength and peace such as a bird or snake. These headdresses are carved and worn by men who masquerade as women for an elaborate spectacle, dedicated to balance and harmony, performed in the marketplaces of Yoruba lands.
“Humans are instinctive, cultural and creative animals. So much has changed in recent years, but marriage, weddings and the persona of the bride have persisted. Why? How? What kind of life and what kind of world must a bride face up to?
White lace and dark carved wood appear to be almost opposite cultural creations, but there is much in common if you consider a little longer. Our social and cultural institutions have shaped human experience, but nowadays their limitations are glaring. How does a hopeful bride or a thoughtful and experienced older woman face up to her own realities and the realities of this crucial period in human history?”