AGOG presents “Signs for Life” Jane Tevelein Doel
About The Event
Jane Tevelein Doel writes:
For a number of years I have continued to make Raku-fired tile landscape pieces, featuring the Columbia Wetlands, and the mountains around the area where I live . But interspersed among this landscape work, every so often, more personal pieces were made which all have a recurring theme of connection to place, to nature and/or archetypal roles, particularly those of the feminine.
Things really dried up for me at the beginning of 2020, and I hardly made work for over six months. It seemed like a time of waiting, and holding close what was dear. Later in the year, I found myself contemplating my and possibly all of our necessity to have some form of touchstones in times of change. Where do we go? How do we find our feet? What are the images meaningful to each of us? What can we look to?
I began searching inside myself and researching images that have anchored others in the ancient past from my European culture. Originally I called these images “Icons”. Searching for the meaning of art and imagery I found that from very ancient times Humans made Art with meaning for themselves. It could be a small Ice Age carving on a mammoth tooth to hold as a totem in times of need, or graphic drawings of humans and animals on a rock face, to communicate an event of huge importance and significance to the lives of the makers, an image of a tiny goddess figure worn to encourage fertility, or the universally known symbol for Peace hung over a doorway continuing to inspire all who pass through.
My own imagery developed from these symbols of regeneration and hope throughout the ages. I found comfort in both the everyday and in the sacred. I looked towards specific objects of encouragement for the survival of the future world – the resilience of our children, the constancy of rivers and the natural world, and the connections with our ancestors. Illustrating a need for protection of the emerging fragile situation the natural world as we know it and therefore for humans,, there are shield forms, some showing the image of the undammed Columbia River flowing through her valley. In including the vessel forms, I did not want to forget the power of simple ceremony — in whatever way it is meaningful for each of us.
I decided to also include in this show some of my previous explorations which I see as resources for the present work– they are pretty self-explanatory and I hope you enjoy them.
Finally, a few words about the process. I could not think of a better material than clay to use for this work – it is an ancient material, from the earth, honed by the elements, and yet very familiar and everyday. There are many stages of making, drying, firing, glazing, firing again, at any point in which the work could go sideways and have to be discarded. The Raku process that I use for firing the glazes gives me the depth of colour I want with my active participation in the changes to the pieces during and after the final firing.
Jane writes about her background:
I am a ceramic artist and teacher, long-time resident on a backroad above the Columbia Valley. My clay work is influenced by natural forms, by an interest in archetypal roles and imagery, particularly from my countries of origin, Britain and Europe, and by my present life, surrounded by mountains.
Although my mother was a potter, I had very little interest in clay until I returned to art school and met several clay teachers who influenced me greatly. However, printmaking was my main love, and it was not until I moved to rural land with no running water that clay became a much more possible medium. I have been able to recycle a building and make a small but efficient studio and have constructed several kilns on the property. Whenever I could, I have pursued any courses and opportunities available to widen my experience – from Metchosin Summer School of the Arts, Red Deer College, and others, including several Clay and Wood-firing workshops at the Banff Centre for the Arts, followed by a six-week self-directed residency, resulting in shows in Calgary and Golden.
I have regularly given workshops in Clay Handbuilding, Raku and Primitive Firing techniques to adults and children in my studio, in schools and in my home community and others, including two projects at the Golden Secondary and Alternate Schools, funded through Artists in the Classroom. I spent 16 happy years as Youth Care Worker at the Golden Alternate School, where I was lucky enough to facilitate an Art Program, (among many other things), and learned more from the students than I was ever able to teach them.
Three times juried for BC Festival of the Arts, I have been a recipient of several CKCA Artist’s grants, including a Major Projects Grant as collaborating artist, together with Martha Ryan on “Embodiment”, a ceramic sculptural tribute to missing and murdered women. The exhibit travelled to locations both in Alberta and BC. I am the creator of murals for the Okanagan Regional Library and several private collections. In 2010 the Art Gallery of Golden, in collaboration with Wildsight, presented a multi-media group exhibit entitled “Columbia Wetlands – Natural Inspiration”. I entered a piece in that show and from there continued to work on an ongoing series of Wetlands tile paintings, which have since expanded to include tile paintings based on images of the mountains around my home.
My clay work has been exhibited in galleries and competitions in both BC and Alberta, and exists in many private collections internationally. Commissions have included a series of Raku-fired tile paintings for the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada, to be used as awards, as well as an ongoing series of pregnant torsos, including one that was exhibited in the recent “Breastfeeding Art Expo”, touring BC, 2017-2018.
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Kicking Horse Culture presents about four dozen cultural events and activities throughout the year in Golden, B.C., the traditional unceded territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc Nations which is also home to Métis Nation Columbia River.