Making paper with the cat
Colour is vital to me. I use paints, inks, dyes and pure pigments to build up intense and glowing but (I hope) subtle colours. Many of my pieces are made on my own hand-cast cotton paper which offers a seductive texture to work on, and can be moulded and manipulated.
I constantly experiment with materials and techniques, juxtaposing throwaway or reclaimed materials with costly ones such as pure pigments and gold and silver leaf. I often make art out of, or about, things other people throw away – the detritus of life. So long as it doesn’t rot, fade or rub off I’ll consider it.
Prairies on fire! Part of a 30′ concertina book about the wonderful Sussex Prairies Garden
My art is about trying to make sense of the world round me – the hidden world with its forces and invisible currents and energies. If I were to talk about decoding the universe, that would be pretentious. I may not understand it but I can sense the patterns that rule and drive behaviour, whether that be of humans, the tides or weather systems – the universe itself. Even if if I’m baffled, I feel more at one with the world when I’m working with it.
Solo show in Battle, Sussex (sold paintings)
Millions of people are good at art, can make exquisite likenesses and craft superb representations of the world round them. I admire this, I enjoy it, but I would get bored doing it even if I achieved a similar level of perfection. I make something which is an interpretation of what I see and hear and intuit all around me; if it works it seems to strike a chord with other people. Whether it’s art, I can’t know.
Evening, Haven (sold)
I spent much of my early childhood in Germany and Africa – where I read every book on my parents’ shelves, loved the patterns and colours all round me and learned to make lino-cuts.
We returned to a dark rainy London where I was befriended at school by an inspirational, kindly art teacher, Meriel Cardew (wife of the potter Michael). I had singing lessons next door at the Guildhall School of Music.
But I was firmly steered away into a ‘respectable’ path by school and parents, and in due course became a university lecturer on medieval French literature (wonderful, by the way) though I never stopped trying to make art.
Paintings on handmade paper
I finally turned seriously to art in the mid-90s, after courses in Art and Design, Textiles and Ceramics at Newark and Sherwood College. I won a prize which to my horror involved creating a mural 8’x24’ for a local firm! My City and Guilds design work was then shortlisted for a medal, which gave me the confidence to continue. My first solo show soon followed and I have been exhibiting and selling work ever since.
Jill’s work at the Nigel Rose Gallery, Brighton
I’ve shown work all over the UK, with many solo exhibitions in private and public galleries. I’ve undertaken commissions, workshops and projects and talks. I’ve helped to run Open Studio schemes and taken part in the Brighton Festival and Science Festival. I regularly show work at the Affordable and other Art Fairs. My work is in private and public collections all over the world.
My studio at The Wolf at the Door has just moved from Hove to York, UK.
To find out what’s going on there, you can ‘like’ my Wolf and JillTattersall Facebook pages. And do sign up for my Wolf newsletter (right).