Jan Marshall has worked with mixed-media and installation art for over thirty years, exhibiting widely. ‘Animal – Stick + Stone’ at the ‘Midland Group Arts Centre, Nottingham (1985) set Jan upon a journey which strives to involve people within the artwork and communicate through it, from helping to build the structures and sculptures, or collecting the paraphernalia of materials used to create an installation from their local environments, to including a multiple of personal gifts, tokens of appreciation, childhood momentos and meaningful ‘keepsakes’ from friends, family and sometimes ‘persons unknown’.
The shrines she creates are grounded in her compulsive habit of collecting hoarding a plethora of organic detritus (she calls these her ‘treasures’), which are housed, often humorously transformed and placed withing a ‘habitat’ of sorts, alongside the given and donated small items that represent a special message or memory.
There is often an essence of spirituality within the creations and their intimate surroundings and Jan attempts o encourage mutual connection with nature by focusing our attention to the intricate detail found in every feather, shell and stone, the delicate line work within a leaf and to recognise that beauty, and in all things that surrounded us if we can only take the time to look a little closer, a little longer… that second look to appreciate these fragile ‘treasures’, only then do we have any real chance of realising the implications of our (mis)treatment of our shared earth.
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