The People have spoke for The Watson award


    The Watson | Art

    Partnering up with the Helpmann Academy, supporting emerging creatives, The Watson recently sponsored the Academy’s People's Choice Awards. Abstract artist Jane Skeer was chosen as the winner with her sculpture 'Quiet Square' constructed from VHS reels.

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By Liv Croagh
20th April 2016

We talked with Jane about her love of art, film and boysenberry choc top ice-creams. 

Art Series Hotel Group: Was there a reason behind choosing VHS tapes as a medium?

Jane Skeer: I am interested in the way we as humans interact with non-humans. I choose my medium from the stuff we throw away, the stuff we all need to have but now has become complacent. I gather materials from the world quite accidentally as I go about my daily activities. I have been collecting VHS tapes for quite a few years without the knowledge of what I was going to do with them. Every now and then I’d break one open and play with the ribbon, twisting, knitting, wrapping it up until one day in my studio I decided to hang it on my door frame like a fly screen. I enjoyed the way the strands kicked up on the bottom of the ribbon and appeared to actively dance along the ground. The sunlight from my window hit the ribbon sending beautiful reflections across the room. People stopped entering my room, they would instead stand beneath the ribbon feeling its presence, wrapping it around themselves and getting lost in its soft material qualities.

ASHG: Are you a fan of film?

JS: I love nothing more than going to Adelaide’s Trak Cinema on my own to indulge in a movie with a boysenberry choc top ice-cream. 

ASHG: What three films would you watch for a winter movie marathon?

JS: Love Actually, Pretty Woman, It’s a Wonderful Life.

ASHG: What artists inspire you the most?

JS: Contemporary artists Louise Haselton, Tara Donovan and Thomas Rentmeister have heavily influenced my art practice. These artists explore ways of re-presenting the familiar in cleverly animated ways. Donovan and Rentmeister in particular bring a sense of obsessive play and activate human associations with the material. I enjoy the way their work allows the material to retain its own identity by being recognisable as common everyday items.

ASHG: Where is your ideal gallery or space that you would love to display your work?

JS: Just recently I visited the MCA in Sydney where Mikala Dwyer filled the entire, Level 1 North Gallery with her work Square Cloud Compound (2010). If I could present work of this calibre in that gallery space, I would be one happy artist. 

ASHG: What three artists would you like to be compared to?

JS: Constantin Brancusi was a master craftsperson who worked hard to bring out each material’s individual qualities. His works had the kind of presence I aim to achieve throughout my art practice. In the contemporary art world, I would love to be compared to Thomas Rentmeister, Tara Donovan and Jessica Stockholder for the way their work has a seductive and mysterious play on our livelihood.

ASHG: On the weekends, we would find you…?

JS: Outside in the garden, on a beach or drinking wine with friends.


Take in the art of Adelaide when sleeping over at The Watson.

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