Jane Walker, Artist – Bonavista, NL
Jane Walker holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts (2015) from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and a Masters of Research from The Glasgow School of Art (2017). She works in a variety of media and has shared her work in exhibitions, publications, and talks in Canada, Europe, and Singapore. Her ongoing digital project OnTheMiddleOfNowhere.ca, commissioned by Grenfell Art Gallery, responds to the seasonal experience of living in a rural place often considered “the middle of nowhere” by visitors. The fourth and final website update will be released in April 2023. A small exhibition of in-progress and finished woven works, created during an apprenticeship with Megan Samms, is also on display at the Craft Council Gallery in St. John’s, NL until March 17th.
In ponds, pools, rivers, and oceans. I love swimming and always have. I live in a rural area of Newfoundland and the closest pool is over an hour away. I spent January at the Icelandic Textile Centre in Blönduós, Iceland, where the community pool is just a short walk away. I would swim in the dark mornings in a mostly empty outdoor pool. I have poor vision, and there was something strangely liberating about starting my days with the quiet hum of underwater and a blurry blue approximation of my surroundings. These small watercolours are titled swimming without my glasses, from memory.
- Windows and curtains
I remember rooms by the way the light moves through them. I love observing light move through a space over a day, grazing furniture and floorboards. I am learning to weave curtains now, in response to the way light moves through specific spaces.
- DIY signs
I love an unexpectedly sweet or weird handmade sign. It’s akin to finding a handwritten note; they carry so much personality. Some of the stop signs in my hometown are hand-painted wooden signs.
- Sleep and dreams
I made a Google Form that I answer in the mornings about my dreams while I still remember them vividly. I’m hoping in a few years I’ll have some solid data about my dream-life. I recently read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, and I am completely obsessed with sleep and dreams. I have learned to appreciate my natural sleep rhythms, releasing all guilt about not being an early-bird.
During the process of creating onthemiddleofnowhere.ca, I regularly fell down the rabbit hole that is picgifs.com, browsing all the little graphics. In imagining the digital project, I was inspired by the feeling of websites in the days before constant advertising and sleek templates. It reminded me of making my first website on Piczo almost twenty years ago. It captures a more playful and simpler time of the Internet. I use it in my project to evoke a feeling of nostalgia that is often attached to rural Newfoundland.