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A world of colour and magic of the unseen.

T HIS week we talk to artist Jan Gardner whose work will be on display at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy.

Q Tell us about your family A Married, two daughters, two cats, one dog.

Q What are you best known for? A I supply my original, unique work to galleries for exhibitions around the UK. I enjoy meeting the people who buy my work and am currently working on new pieces on canvas and continuing work on hand-made water-colour paper with contemporary pigments. My artwork begins with drawing, thoughts and feelings become tools to hone the mark-making. The colour and decorative content is intuitive and I love the process of manipulating the colours upon the surface, immersed in a world of colour. I add to this, new fragments blended from my imagination and memory. The magic of the unseen, embracing the fragility and strength of this life, for that reason my art has always been a personal journey.

Q Tell us about your exhibition A The title is "Reveries" a collection of new reflection, reverence to life and journeys onward. It will be shown at the Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy. It runs from September 16 to October 14.

Q What can people expect? A The images I create are all stories of their own, I am inspired by the natural world and my personal response to it using mark-making and colour expressively. There will be a range of works on paper and canvas of varying sizes. I use water-colour, acrylic and collage on paper and acrylic and oil on canvas and linen.

Q Tell us five things which make your exhibition great? Passion in my work.

AVibrant colour. Reveries and dreamscapes which denote highly personal meditations. Unique response to my view of the world for others to meander and view. The beautiful setting of the Royal Cambrian Academy's prestigious building.

Q Tell us what's good about the venue A The Royal Cambrian Academy gallery in Conwy is one of the most established and prestigious galleries in Wales. The refurbished galleries on two floors offer a fantastic space for Academicians throughout the year.

Q Who is your favourite artist and why? A It is hard to pick one favourite, my influences and admiration cross over many genres and there are so many, the Bauhaus, Fauves, Expressionist, the Scottish colourists, the Impressionists. Henri Rousseau, Odilon Redon, Maggie Hambling, Georgia O'Keefe, Berthe Morisot, Paula Rego, Gwen John, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney all spring to mind but I think I will always adore John Piper.

Q What piece of work are you most proud of and why? A It is "Each day brings us eternity", it's a large piece on canvas, it's 1 metre x 1.5 metres. It's a large piece which is still a challenge for me, but I had started it with a completely different idea then I painted it out and started again, I developed the piece over many weeks, coming back to it when I felt brave and strong. It makes me smile every time I look at it now, it's almost as if I reached a new level and in so doing I am uplifted and my courage returns.

Q Tell us a little known fact about yourself: A When I have time I love to knit for charity, I joined a local group which knits wonderful things for babies in foreign lands, dementia twiddle-muffs [special muffs to keep dementia patients' hands active], Operation Christmas Child. Vegetarian and compassionate champion for animal welfare.

What's next for you? QWhat do you plan to work on? A I am always seeking out new opportunities and revel in achieving new experiences through my work in the form of residencies and travel.
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 15, 2017
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