“I love expression - whether ugly or beautiful.”

Jane specialises in wild-life and animal sculptures for the home and garden. The exhibition will enable you to see some of her work, including recent commissions and drawings, and also visit the garden where her large-scale pieces will be shown.

Who are you, and can you describe your artistic practice?

My name is Jane Shaw, and I am a sculptor specialising in wild-life and animal sculptures for inside the home, and on a larger scale for the garden. I work mainly in wax for my smaller pieces, and then clay or plaster for my larger works.  They are all then cast in bronze or bronze resin.  My focus is using the movement of the animal to express a feeling or mood of the animal.

Where did your art journey start? What made you pursue or even fall in love with your practice?

I first discovered my passion for sculpture when I was at school where I was very fortunate enough to have a very inspiring teacher, who gave me a lot of freedom to explore. I didn’t go to art school as I was not confident enough, I could make it a career of my passion!  However, over the years, I continued to dabble in it, until about 6 years ago after moving to Dorset, I decided to take it up on a more serious basis.  I was older and wiser, and I think my past experiences have helped deal with the tougher side of being an artist.  I also combined my love of sculpting with my passion for animals and the outdoors. 

What are your inspirations? Is there something about Dorset in particular that inspires you?

Simply to be able to present a mood, or the character of the animal through my work.  Dorset has a genuine flavour to it…. we are lucky to still have a lot of natural countryside around us, its unspoilt and earthy… and that is very similar to my work.  I use the thumb marks and the material I use, to create a piece of work.

I always require a passion for the subject matter - knowledge is key… so I need to really get to know my subject through observation - by drawing, photographing and watching.  I then work with the clay or wax, using a very flexible armature to develop a composition which reflects the mood and character of the animal.  I love working with my clients on commissions both locally, and further afield to create something which can hold a moment forever.

How has this pandemic affected or influenced your practice?

I love expression - whether ugly or beautiful. For me both are important to capture and appreciate and I guess, my work has evolved from focusing on movement to also wanting to express a narrative or a statement of feeling.  For example, during lockdown, when I was really able to spend a more extended time in my studio, I began working on a horse, to express a sadness and loneliness and I then felt that because many of us were experiencing isolation… I transferred the horse onto the top of a pinnacle to accentuate the current mood.  But there was artistic beauty in the shapes despite the sadness of thought.  I then went on to create 2 horse heads, loving one another… the partnership you find in two souls, working together as one… I felt it was important to turn to the future and find hope through love, during these uncertain times.

My work is an expression of feeling or character, without losing or forgetting the reality of what you are looking at!  I think that is my conventional side coming out as I have a very practical, boring side of me which sometimes gets in the way!

What are you most looking forward to at Dorset Art Weeks this year? Are there any projects that you are particularly excited to showcase?

I love meeting the people… also we now have a lovely garden where people can feel safe (during these COVID times) to walk around and see some of my outside work in situ.  I am also doing a lot more commissions, and so I am excited to show visitors some of my latest work and it’s always fun to see my drawings which are often used to support or discover the real essence of my work.

Jane is opening studios with Polly Cazalet this year.

You can visit Jane and Polly’s venue 11am-4pm every day this Dorset Art Weeks.

Visit Jane and Polly’s venue page on the DAW Directory for more information | Here

Visit Jane’s website | Here