Poppy and Ashok – a Journey
An exhibition by Jane Graham 2-8 Oct 2016
Official Opening: Tuesday October 4th from 6.30pm – All welcome
Jane Graham recently wrote a short story about Poppy and Ashok who unexpectedly found themselves travelling together on a brief holiday. She intended to illustrate the work but was unable to come to terms with the constraints that presented themselves with regard to the way she had hoped to do the illustrations. The matter was resolved when she decided to create story illustrations separately to the text, in 3D, (still life, mini theatre sets, and mini tableau). These were to be exhibited in a gallery, using printed copies of the short story as the exhibition catalogue.
One of Graham’s early experiences with making art happened in the early 1970s when she was getting work together in the Okavango Delta for her first exhibition being held at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Gaborone, Botswana. She asked friends to store some of the finished paintings for her as there was not sufficient space in her own house. They agreed, and stored the biggest painting under their double bed. No “brats” could get at it there. But the cat could, and peed on it. Mishaps aside, Graham’s nomadic lifestyle gave her the opportunity to work far and wide. She has lived in 17 different countries and has had 59 homes in eastern Africa, UK, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Her peripatetic life has inspired and motivated her work.
In the 1980s she settled down for a while to get a Bachelor of Fine Art (NT University, Darwin, Australia) and an M.A. Dance Studies (University of Surrey, Guildford, England). Before her university training she had concentrated on exhibiting and selling paintings. After her training she was drawn to working across the arts, with mixed media installations and performances that often comprised painting, sculpture, sound, lights, moving people, etc. Also, frequently in remote countries where it was impossible to find art materials, Graham was obliged to make art from found objects and these soon became a major component on her palette.