Studio Visit with Jan Spencer
In the lead up to our next exhibition Three Journeys by three Sydney based artists, we’ll be having a chat to all of them about their very different art practices and the fantastic spaces in which they create. Kicking things off with the lovely Jan Spencer, a mixed media collage artist and keen traveller. Jan shares a fantastic space with her partner, also an artist, downstairs in their beautiful, art filled home in Rozelle, Sydney. The large “basement” room boasts three completely glass walls looking out onto their private garden, and is flooded with natural light.
Jan showed me around and taught me a little about her practice, it all begins with travel. A keen cyclist, Jan travels the world, and Australia, on a bicycle and takes her beautiful handmade travel diaries and sketch books with her. All of her art originates here, tiny coloured sketches are remade larger and with collaged elements.
Three Journeys by Jan Spencer, Rita Orsini and Genevieve Bessell-Brown is open from March 6 - 16, with an Opening Reception on Saturday afternoon March 9th from 1.30pm, we’d love to see you there.
Tell us a little about your background. How long have you been making art?
I’ve been colouring-in ever since a child, studied art at high school, and, after uni studied art at TAFENSW. I was given some caran d’ache oil crayons as a gift after returning from a papermaking trip to Japan.
How do you choose your subject matter and mediums? What draws you to the subject and medium?
I walk, camp and cycle with my handmade diaries…sometimes I draw en plein air or I compile a work informed by vignettes of the day. Several years ago I started crayoning on found papers instead of straight into my diary and tore the shapes resulting in the lovely torn edge of the paper against the crayon.
Talk us through your process.
When in my studio I work from crayon or pencil diary images. I crayon on coloured papers which I tear or score into shapes…when I’m happy I disassemble them and paste them onto Japanese paper. After they dry, I paste them onto artboards, press them and seal the crayon with archival varnish.
Where do you find inspiration? Who or what are you influenced by?
I’m inspired by landscape and places during my travels in Australia and abroad. Cycling and walking gives you time to see, feel, smell, draw, be.
What’s next for you?
Continued camping in and cycling and walking to amazing places with my handmade diaries.