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6 pieces by Janet Halligan
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Child’s chair
Hanging leather jacket
Mulberry bag
Runner’s torso
Tool bag
Torso with tie
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Janet Halligan Applied Art
I went to art college from Grammar school much to the disappointment of my teachers who in the mid sixties really only valued an academic path. Needless to say the teaching of art at school was rather perfunctory and I sometimes wonder how I ever ended up on an art course! I started a pre-degree course with a vague idea of studying graphics because I thought that was the surest path to employment. However as soon as I started working in clay I was hooked and so went on to apply for a degree course which included this discipline. I actually studied glass with ceramics for my degree and as it was quite a broad course. I worked in a number of different material including wood and metal as well as glass and clay.
Bromley Grammar School 1957-1964Medway College of Art 1964-1966Stourbridge College of Art 1966-1970
Selected Commissions/collections:
1998 3 Wall pieces for TV show Granada Television
1997 8 giant sports boots for TV show Granada television
1996 2 sculptures for TV show Yorkshire television
Group Exhibitions:
2006 Summer exhibition Parkfields Gallery Ross on Wye
2005(nov/dec)Potteries museum and art gallery Stoke on Trent (one man)
2005 Oswestry Heritage Centre Shropshire(one man)2004 2004Millenium Galleries Christmas Crackers Sheffield
2004 Kaleyards Gallery(August) Chester
2003 Cheshire artists Grosvenor Museum Chester
2003 Stockport Art Gallery Artlink Exhibition
2002 Bluecoat Display Centre Liverpool
2001 Wrexham Arts Centre Clwydd(one-man)
1998/1997 Wavertree Gallery Newcastle under Lyme
1997 The Red Gallery Southsea
1996 Platform Gallery Clitheroe, Lancs
1995 One from the Heart Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Artist's Statement:
After graduating I continued to work in a variety of materials, making sculptural objects which I exhibited but were not easy to sell.During the seventies and eighties I brought up two children and taught art in schools and colleges. I continued to make work, concentrating on ceramics and during the 80s started making the precursors of the “trompe l’oeil“ work I make now. The first pieces were clothed torsos that started off as rectangular pots and gradually took on more realistic form. I was probably influenced more by sculptors and painters than other ceramicists. Claes Oldenburg the American pop artist who made huge soft sculptures of every-day objects, Rene Magritte who painted shoes with toes.I think that we pick up influences from other people all the time-often unconsciously and hopefully absorb them into our own way of working so that they are not always apparent. In the ceramic world I admire the work of Walter Keeler; obviously Marilyn Levine (although I did not come across photos of her “leather” cases and jackets until after I had started making similar pieces);Franscois Marechal from La Bourne; Gordon Baldwin; John Maltby, Ian Rylatt.They are all very different-sculptors and vessel makers; handbuilders and throwers. Perhaps what links them is an unconventional approach to ceramic form and a sureness both technically and aesthetically.I also admire the freer more gestural work of potters such Eric Astoul from la Bourne and Marcio Mattos- a way of working more prevalent in France than in Great Britain I think. But this is very different from my work and although I sometimes try to work in a freer style I find it quite difficult.You could also say I have been influenced by the traditions of the Leach approach in that I consciously rejected the idea of “truth to materials” which although long discarded today by many practitioners was still prevalent in the late sixties when I was at college. My early sculptural ceramics were angular pieces based on architecture and machinery; my later and current work seeks to imitate leather and cloth-all ways of making clay into non-clay like forms.
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