Jane Collins taking inspiration from the everyday

MIXED MEDIA: A work by Jane Collins which will be included in the exhibition The Print Tomorrow at Gallery 139.
MIXED MEDIA: A work by Jane Collins which will be included in the exhibition The Print Tomorrow at Gallery 139.

IN 1994 Newcastle artist Jane Collins was involved in a serious car crash from which she sustained multiple injuries. Prior to the accident she had been a surfer and played basketball. 

“I couldn’t get around very well,” Collins said. “Painting was one thing I could do.” 

She said art became a part of her recovery. 

“Being able to paint and draw and do art really helped me,” she said.

“It’s hard to explain but art helps get your mind off yourself a bit. Rather than feel sorry for yourself you are looking out and enjoying yourself mentally.” 

In the 20 or so years since the crash Collins has continued to make art and draws much of the inspiration for her work from the world immediately around her. Many of the subjects of her prints are things she sees in her own home.

“[The works feature] interesting shapes and combinations of things together, sometimes landscapes or people or objects that I like, even souvenirs I have gathered while travelling,” Collins said.  

She focuses on still life, or works inspired from life drawing. The prints feature the artist’s penchant for colour, eye for composition and love of diagonal lines. The process of making art for Collins usually begins with drawing.

“I use charcoal or pencil and then I turn the drawing into a dry point etching,” she said. 

“I etch into the lines and make a plate which I then ink up and put through the press with paper.

“I will then go further with that and paint with gouache and I also will use collage. I have been using paper from lino prints, printed onto Japanese rice paper. Then I cut out the lino and stick it on as well.” 

She draws on a wide array of artistic inspirations and has continued to develop her skills by adding new print-making techniques. 

Collins will hang works in the exhibition The Print Tomorrow. The show also includes works from Maddyson Haddon, Anne McLaughlin, Anne-Maree Hunter, Terri Brander, and Gina McDonald, at Gallery 139, Hamilton. It opens on June 29.