Friday, 3 September 2010

Artist of the Week - Janie Ranger

Janie Ranger originally trained in fashion and textiles and worked for Mary Quant as a designer for five years in the early seventies. Her husband was in the RAF and so Janie spent the next thirty odd years as a camp follower. She went back to art school in 2004 and did a degree in Fine Art. Janie works from an interesting studio in Cheltenham where she livse in an 1830's house. She has just completed a commission of 15 drawings for the Coda Restaurant at the Royal Albert Hall, is involved in Am Dram, travels quite a bit and is a 61 year old fat but energetic granny!!!

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I've trained twice! Firstly back in the late 60's I did Fashion and Textile Design at Ealing School of Art (Freddie Mercury was a student there then!) In the noughties I went back to Uni and studied at the University of Gloucestershire for a BA in Fine Art.
Apart from practical and academic stuff I learnt never to pass up either an opportunity or a glass of something bubbly. I wish I had learnt how to make more money - to pay for the bubbles of course.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
From the age of around 6 I spent hours making clothes for paper dollies and never wanted to do anything else but design or paint.

One favourite living artist?
Difficult to chose. Probably Cy Twombley because whenever I see his work I always wish I had made it.

One favourite historical artist?
Vermeer. Because he could paint quite well and Colin Firth played him in a film.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
A lot of inspiration comes from my collection of animal and human bones, dead insects and other detritius.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
I worked as a designer for Mary Quant in the early seventies. Breakfast Press Shows were enormous fun. I used to help dress the models and got one (still well known) model's pubes caught in a trouser zip. No I won't tell who it was.

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
Work on my own. I'm quite a private worker although I would like to take a leap and do a huge collaborative drawing somewhere.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
I was quite individual and think I influenced a few others.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
Usually not at all with my fine art practise. But I do design as well and that is often working within a brief. I enjoy both.

Who would you say buys your work?
Not enough people

Where and what is your studio?
In Cheltenham in a lovely old quirky building that was once a sail makers loft.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Very much so. I can work quite quickly under pressure if necessary. I like to travel, spend time with family and friends as well as participating in AM Dram.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Forensic pathology or an undertaker

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Tate Modern. The Turbine Hall.

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
Nov 2009 ING Discerning Eye at Mall Galleries
March 2010 Cheltenham Art Gallerly and Museum Cafe
August 2010 Ludlow Summer Exhibition
Janie will be showing her work at the Brighton Art Fair.

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