Born in Co. Tyrone, now living in Connemara, Janet first studied art in Belfast, completed a Fine art degree at Loughborough College of Art & Design, and an MA in art history at Winchester School of Art. 3 years of study in England turned into 38 years of working in the post-16 art education sector, and as an education inspector, before returning to Ireland in 2017.
Since retiring from full-time employment, and coming to live in Connemara, Janet has been restarting her art practice, principally through drawing and small scale sculpture, and occasional forays into encaustic wax painting. In all these kinds of work her process often involves as much taking away material as building it up – removing material helps to reveal and refine the shapes and forms in the work.
‘My work is rooted in the West of Ireland landscape, inspired by the sculptural forms of the mountains, rocks and the natural and man-made structures which reveal man’s long interaction with the land. I try to evoke my experience of being in the landscape, a sense of place, rather than depicting a view.
I enjoy the physicality of working in sculpture, and the directness of working materials by hand, creating 3-dimensional forms in both hard and soft materials. I’d love for viewers to feel that they would like to pick up and handle the sculptures and feel the forms in their hands.’