Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Artist of the Week - Janie Ranger

Janie Ranger explores memory by producing mixed media work on paper and board. She will be exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair this week.
Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?   
In a previous life I trained in Fashion and Textile Design at Ealing School of Art (at the same time as Freddie Mercury!) and then worked for Mary Quant for nearly five years as a designer/sketcher. More recently, University of Gloucester for a BA fine Art.

The three years at Ealing were amongst the happiest of my life.  I hated school, was a square peg there. My first day at art school and I thought "This is where I belong."  This feeling re-emerged the moment I walked into the learning centre at Gloscat, where I did an access course before taking my degree.

Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?
I'm a mother, grandmother, gardener, designer, artist.. I'm involved in amateur dramatics both as a designer and director. None of which pays much!  (I recently won a trophy for the most innovative director, and the play won two other awards). I occasionally get a commission to design for professional theatre.  My most recent piece was a painting for the set of Tennessee William's "A Cavalier for M'Lady" Directed by Gene David Kirk at The Jermyn Street Theatre.  I have been asked to design the CD cover for "The London Requiem" by Benjamin Till, which is a new classical 10 movement work to be released in September. I also help decorate and provide art work for my son's restaurant "The Hove Kitchen" on Western Road.

One favourite living artist?
David Hockney.  He smokes and doesn't give a damn. And he does nice drawings and stuff.

One favourite historical artist?
Cy Twombley.  He was my favourite living artist until he died.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Cleaning military houses with an army colonel's wife.  We had such fun, cleaning other people's dirt is somehow more joyous than doing one's own.

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?
Cy Twombley.  Fill the Turbine Hall at Tate with mark making  

At age 16 who most influenced your style?
Far too long ago to remember.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
Film - We need to talk about Kevin. More into theatre than film.  Propellor's "Henry V" was one of the best things I've seen on stage.

What music are you currently listening to?
Everything.  Have my ipod on shuffle, so Christmas music is mixed up with Adele, Elbow, Kings of Leon and the odd nursery rhyme.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?
Dont waste time on internet.  I use it for cerebral in depth study and research. Ha.ha.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Brighton - well Hove actually.  It's full of quirky lovely people who are so non-judgemental. It's close to London. One day.

Where and what is your studio?
Cheltenham.  It's in an old sail maker's loft.  There are about 12 other studios with artists and illustrators. Plus a gallery downstairs which is used for teaching and exhibitions etc.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
Brilliant.  I'm lucky to have a supportive husband.  Both OAP's and getting lots of things ticked off before we reach for the zimmer frames.

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

What would your dream commission be?
To fill the Turbine hall with drawings.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Boring I know - but it would have to be The Tate.

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