Artist Statement 2021

My art practice is multi-disciplinary, encompassing sculpture and installation, curation, and the facilitation of community art projects.  I enjoy working with the permanence of bronze as much as the fleeting nature of performance and I focus particularly on that most tactile of media: textiles. In 2021 I will complete a PhD that explores the relationship between textiles and tactility in contemporary art. The resulting body of work combines life-sized lace portraiture with dance performance, and woven horsehair with bronze sculpture. My research drew upon the sensory philosophy of Michel Serres which calls for an embodied engagement with the world through all the senses rather than an interpretation of it through language and vision alone. I believe that art is best understood and fully appreciated when it can be touched and felt and listened to and that this is also true for our ability to understand the natural world, especially the beauty, majesty, and strength of trees. 

I have been fortunate to participate in residencies at Hill End, Bundanon, and Textilsetur in Iceland, and have been awarded the Rookwood Sculpture Prize, the Grace Cossington Smith Early Career Award, and the Australian Design Centre Textile Award. Group exhibitions and performances include the 2020 Tamworth Textile Triennial, the Black Swan Portrait Prize, the North Sydney Art Prize, the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award, Dancer at the National Portrait Gallery (November 2021) and Sue Healey’s On Panorama (Japan, Sydney, Hong Kong, 2020-21).  

Instagram: @janetheau