Profile: Jane Wilson

Jane WilsonMy working life began in the theatre and I continued to work in the arts sector until the mid 1980s.  In 1990 I took the decision to retrain and in 1995 I graduated from Wolverhampton University with a BA Hons Degree in Wood, Metal & Plastics.  Shortly after graduating I was offered my first commission which prompted me to set up a workshop in my cellar.  In 2002 I was appointed as Project Manager for The Whitehall Project (an Elizabethan Manor House) which was a temporary studio complex housing fourteen visual artists in Shrewsbury.  The building was scheduled for redevelopment and the project ended in April 2004.  Following the closure of The Whitehall Project I moved my workshop out to Longnor in Shropshire where I continue to work to date.

I work only with reclaimed materials – mainly wood, metal and plastics.  This was a conscious decision early on in my training.  So much is discarded nowadays and I relish the idea of giving these materials a second time around.

The majority of the wood is reclaimed from discarded pianos, which I dismantle. I also have a source of wood from discarded looms. I collect driftwood and plastics from beaches and much of the metal and glass has come from digging my garden. In this age of de-cluttering I am constantly being offered materials giving me a rich resource to delve into.

I use the materials as my palette giving my work a painterly and tactile quality. I make small sculptural constructions which are very loosely based on the architecture that surrounds me, abstract wall panels creating forms and patterns and, occasionally, small pieces of sculptural furniture. A number of my pieces are extremely complex made up of, literally, hundreds of components. Some pieces are humorous and others are very simple. Sizes can vary considerably.