For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented and down to earth Jane Weibel. Her show was exhibited in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West, and is named “The Extraordinarily Difficult and Impossible Tasks of: Recounting Fading and Altered Memories and Stabilizing Shifting Time.”
When walking into the gallery, I was automatically intrigued. Little figures that were molded to represent items of my childhood filled the room. From a swing set to little coats hung on the wall, nostalgia came upon me, making me interested in the installation’s purpose. The different ceramics, made from clay, were painted in bright, almost pastel, colors and made the room feel very lively, and very childlike.
Jane, who is a ceramics major and has one more year until graduating, said that she was inspired by pictures of her sledding with her mother at a young age. These photographs triggered the memories of that day, but the fact that what she remembers today may have not been accurate to what actually happened frightened her. With the addition of a family member passing away from Alzheimer’s and realizing that her memories might not be true, Jane acknowledged that she has an anxiety of losing her memories and a desire to hold onto them. To relieve this anxiety and satiate this desire, Jane made this art installation.
Based off of her childhood, Jane filled the room with everything she remembered to have played with at a young age. She even included actual artifacts from her childhood, like coats, her little bronzed shoes, and the red sled that is shown in the pictures that inspired her. These artifacts represent the physical things in her childhood, and the rest of the ceramics she made represent what she has filled in to make these memories complete.
Besides her interest in reliving/remembering her memories, Jane previously was a graphic design major, and only got into ceramics about two years ago. She is from San Diego, and has one younger brother. Jane works part time at a pottery studio, and it took her about two months to complete all the pieces in her show. With the help of two assistants, she installed the gallery in thirty six hours.
Personally, I am in love with Jane’s concept. I believe that childhood is a very important stage in a person’s life, and affects us the most because it shapes us into who we are today. I always have random flashbacks of my childhood, and can relate to how these memories can be obstructed from what they used to be, thus making me question myself to what was real or imaginary at the time. I can also relate to Jane’s anxiety of losing these memories because I do not want to forget my past and how innocent I was when I was younger. Our childhood memories molded us into who we are today. If forgotten, how will we know our personalities true origins?
Overall, I really enjoyed Jane’s installation, and I hope to see more work from her in the future.
To see more of Jane’s work and works in progress, check out her instagram: janemargarette