Spotlight On: Jane Turner

29th April 2021 / Museum, Museum blog

Our Spotlight On blogs and vlogs introduce thirteen of the artists featured in exhibition ‘Spotlight On: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection of Chippenham Museum’.  The second in a series, the exhibition presents 40 works acquired in the last five years to ensure our collection better represents North Wiltshire’s creativity, with the majority of works donated by the artists.

What is your name, where are you based, what medium/style do you work in?

My name is Jane Turner and I am based in Corsham. The local and the seasonal inform my projects and I use a documentary style. My work considers the balance between nature and culture and I suggest that it is not necessary to travel to remote places to experience a proximity to nature; in fact that experience is possible locally.

I use a combination of photography and text in my work and have produced a book, In Search of the Pudding Brook, which forms part of a project documenting a local stream.

Why did you want to be involved with this project?

My photographs have been taken in the Chippenham area so exhibiting in my local museum is a way of taking some aspect of the surrounding landscape and bringing it indoors, within a local context. In addition to this, there are several alumni of Bath Academy of Art, where I studied in the 1970s, involved in the exhibition; and I am pleased to participate in a project which helps to create a public repository referencing the presence of Bath Academy of Art in Corsham and the many artists and educators who were involved.

How did you decide which piece to donate to the museum and can you tell us more about it?

Most of my work involves series of photographs. I chose this one because it is just one piece and the daffodils were actually purchased in the Chippenham branch of Tesco. The title is April Come She Will, 80 daffodils purchased from Tesco, tied together and floated down the Ladbrook in Wiltshire. The work came about because one year Spring was very late but all the shops were full of daffodils; so it was partly a comment on the way in which Spring was being enacted by the supermarkets even though, actually, it was not happening and partly a ritual to encourage Spring to come.

April Come She Will, 80 daffodils purchased from Tesco, tied together and floated down the Ladbrook in Wiltshire, colour print mounted on aluminium, 2013

Why do you think having public access to local art is so important, such as through this new collection being created at Chippenham Museum?

I think public access to local art is important because it makes available what
would otherwise be inaccessible. It lets people know what their local artists are doing and displays the artistic history of the area. It also creates a platform where people can respond and contribute.

Why do you think North Wiltshire has such a creative culture?

I think North Wiltshire has a strong creative culture for multiple reasons. Many people who studied or worked at Bath Academy of Art in Corsham remained in or returned to the area and have continued to function as artists maintaining a network for others to join.

There is also evidence of a process of artist support and promotion, public involvement and continuing debate around the changing environment. Art is made available to the public, through arts centres, libraries, and other venues. Corsham, like other North Wiltshire towns such as Bradford-on-Avon, has a summer arts trail. The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham offers a wide range of experiences and has an artist-in-resident scheme for musicians and visual artists. Corsham has also successfully made art available, literally on the High St, for example, the Christmas 2020 display in the windows of the Town Hall, by the Lost and Rambling Collective, featuring work by Aimée Holmes and Caroline Rudge. In 2019 GrowFlowShow, a collaboration between Anya Beaumont and Jo Taylor, was supported by the Pound Arts Centre and the Arts Council. This project put more art on the streets and enabled the artists to “initiate conversations about the heritage and architecture of Corsham, and how artists can create fresh public engagement”

‘Spotlight On: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Collection of Chippenham Museum’ is free to visit 17 May – 19 June. Open Monday – Saturday with two ways to visit:  drop in 10am – 1pm or book a free Private View for up to six people or two households at 1pm, 2pm or 3pm. 


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