The first thing that caught my eye was the relationship of the child to the mother. The two are bound in a single, long, looping length of cloth that is loosely shaped like a human heart. This prepares us for a work about the complexity of human love. Love not only binds the mother to the child, but it binds us to the work. we are looking at.
When I showed this work to a portrait painter, I asked her what caught her eye, and she said..."The baby." Interesting, for the first thing I noticed was the mother's face.
Irregardless of what drew us both into Jane's work there are are a number of significant dualities at play. There is old dualism of age and youth. As well as such interplay between a hard life and the protected life, and there is also a contrast between the strength of the mother and the weakness of the baby.
I like how Jane treats the innocence of childhood. The baby's skin is soft and smooth. Notice how the cloth which surrounds the child is unbroken - its lines are straight and defined. And, the background behind the baby is as plain and uncomplicated as the character of the child itself. The maternal side of the heart fabric has a tired, weary, woman. Her face is marked with lines of stress and her eyes look worried. Her hair is straggled and the background behind her is complex,dark and uncertain. There is an array of lost and found lines. You have to like the way technique and style work together for Jane to create the overall theme of the work.
Now look at cloth that binds them. The woman's face is lined and worried. The cloth around her head is fragmented and undefined. The child's face is smooth and its covering is illuminated.
I wonder if this not just a statement of the relationship between the mother and child, is a metaphor for our lives and for the struggle we experience gives rise to new life and light? Notice how we move from darkness and lack clarity on the left to light and definition on the right.
Interesting, but whilst the child is filled with light and love, it is also a burden. The woman's passage into the future comes with a price. This is life of purpose. Life where sacrifice leads to deliverance.
This painting has so much feeling, interpretive skill and power. It's a dramatically powerful work.
Art, like life, is only as deep and interesting as the viewer interprets it. There is no greater compliment to the artist as to have someone stop, look and connect to their painting. It takes a very special person to
view art in the way that you do. I appreciate your comments and thank you so much for your critique.
To view this and other of Jane's works, please click here.