Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Conversation with Jane LowBeer

Jane LowBeer at Opening Reception at Loop Gallery
I wasn't able to make it to the opening reception at LOOP Gallery for Jane LowBeer's show Light on Little Things and will defer a proper artist profile until I've seen her show. But in the meantime, we began a conversation about art.

Ingrid:  What artist living or dead would you most like to have a conversation with?
Jane:  I think I would like to go all the way back and have a talk with Giotto. His work has such feeling and is so innovative that I imagine he would not mind talking to a woman.

Ingrid: What question would you ask him?
Jane: I would ask him this. One of the things that so moves me in your work Giotto, is the juxtaposition of the human form with architectural structures. There is nothing extraneous in your work. Can you tell me what you are thinking about --or your process in creating these powerful compositions.

Ingrid: Is there and artwork that makes you really angry?
Jane: Damien Hirst's skull and Jeff Koons giant teddy bears are a couple of pieces that come to mind.

Ingrid: What are the most common words you use to describe (1) work you like and (2) work you dislike?
Jane: Work I like gets described in terms of a visual vocabulary or ground, form and colour. I am attracted to all sorts of work, especially drawings or curious paintings... playful/serious stuff. Work I dislike is work driven by concept.

Ingrid: Who is your best critic?
Jane: Myself. I ask myself if I could live with this piece.

Ingrid: What frame of mind do you have to be in to produce art?
 Jane: Ideally, I am feeling a sense of play.

Ingrid: What colour do you most frequently use?
Jane: Recently, the I am mostly using the different colours that come together to make black.

Ingrid: What book are you currently reading?
Jane: I am just finished the novel "Olive Kitteridge" and also a book about Thai yoga.

Ingrid: If you were not an artist, what would you do?
Jane: I am also a yoga therapist. I always wanted to practice art therapy but somehow I ended up working with the body. The mind/body/emotion connection is completely fascinating.

Ingrid: What is your earliest memory as an artist?
Jane: My earliest memory would be trying to paint waves in grade 5. I also recall making Barbie clothes and furniture out of bits and pieces and thinking the absolute rags I made looked great - it was the effort of making them that was memorable.

To see more of Jane's work, please visit LOOP Gallery at 1273 Dundas Street West in Toronto. Her show will run until February 21st. You can also visit her website here.