I’m a visual artist living and working in Fife, Scotland.
After many years of making 2D and 3D artwork and teaching creative activities, I’ve come to understand that what I’m interested in is dialogue, between people, materials and each other. Good dialogue, understanding and respect. I always respect the bend in the twig!
Over the last few years I’ve had the chance to design creative activities to connect people with heritage, both natural and cultural, and the interesting places where they overlap. I run workshops, drop-ins and demonstrations, aiming to create a relaxed atmosphere where people are happy to experiment and share ideas. In this environment the most wonderful dialogues can develop. People can choose to be silent and listen while working and contribute to conversation when they feel like it. I offer stories and information as we go and we all learn from one other.
All my work explores materials and their origins. I encourage people to think about the stuff they are using and where it came from. I demonstrate a making process and let people learn at their own pace, giving as much 1:1 attention as possible. I provide a variety of materials and teach simple processes, asking participants to pay attention to how the materials behave. Within the constraints of the basic process, people can experiment with scale, form, pattern and colour, and take home a unique piece of work.
I love to see people encounter a problem and improvise their way out of it, not giving up. If they become frustrated with their materials or tools (or me!), it usually helps if I point out that the situation may seem bad but “naebody’s deid”. Stepping back to gain a bit of perspective often helps.
In these ways, creative learning can be educational, empowering and, I hope, entertaining. It certainly helps connect people with places, materials and each other.
My formal qualifications: MA Hons Geography (1978), BA Hons Fine Art (2003), Masters in Fine Art (2010). My informal qualifications: my three children from whom I have learned so much, and the years working in wildlife conservation and education which put me on permanent ‘ecology’ setting.
I use carefully-harvested, non-toxic materials as much as possible and divert a lot of ‘stuff’ from land-fill. It is a constant challenge to be ecologically effective and it it is also a good game. Most people enjoy improvising something new from very little…
Clients include: Centre for Stewardship Falkland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership, Historic Environment Scotland, Fife Council, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, Cambo Estate, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Fife Folk Museum.
I have Public Liability Insurance through membership of the Scottish Artists Union, my fees are based on their recommended rates. I am a member of the Society of Scottish Artists and the Scottish Basketmakers Circle.
If you would like more information or to discuss projects large or small, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All writing and images in this blog are copyright Jan Hendry unless otherwise stated.