Limited edition fine art giclée prints on German Etching paper
Animated stills and poem constructed from perfume brand names
Through her work Janet is exploring what it feels like to be human in the Anthropocene, the era in which humanity is having a catastrophic impact on the ecosystems that support life. Janet is a poet as well as a visual artist – working mainly in photography, video and digital collage – and this shapes the way she sees and interprets the world. Janet thinks of her camera as a storytelling machine as much as a documenting device. Each image or piece of film is a visual haiku, a fragment that speaks to a much bigger story. Abstracting these fragments and making them into something new is a kind of recycling of perception; finding wonder in wounded places is a way for Janet to be in the world without turning away from the devastation that’s all around us. These transcendent images and films are where she puts a personal and universal sense of loss, longing and broken belonging; an honouring of the indestructible poetry that lives at the heart of everything. Several years ago Janet learned about the ecological concept of ‘edge’: how there is greatly increased diversity of life where the edges of two adjacent ecosystems overlap – such as land/water, or forest/field. The edge principle has become embedded in her creative practice, whose focus is the creatively fertile spaces where disparate systems or elements meet. In this sense her work is always about straddling or blurring boundaries, both on a concrete level (between visual art and poetry, photography and painting, independence and collaboration) and on a metaphysical level (between art and consumption, origination and ruination, eternity and impermanence, life and death). In 2020 we had a very real boundary placed around us in the Isle of Man; for some months we were not able to leave the island. One of the results of this for Janet was a radical deepening of her connection with the island. All the images here were taken locally, in the ‘in between’ spaces that often go unremarked – the back alleys of Douglas, the ragged outer edges of farm dwellings, the boundary between land and sea. They represent our capacity as humans to leap over restrictive boundaries with the power of our creativity. As Einstein said, ‘Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.’ There is nowhere we cannot go in the imagination, a fact for which Janet is profoundly grateful. As well as informing her practice, exercising this ability to travel through time and space helps to keep her sane and humane.