30” x 52” ©2004
Jane keeps us mindful of both sides of Nature's persona...
Anyone vaguely familiar with Jane's work has surely noticed, from time to time, a dark undercurrent at play. Perhaps not wholly sinister, but a healthy recognition of the sequence of nature—the cycle which produces the glory of full bloom also delivers fallow fields, brambles, bones and skulls. Her quilt Pushing up Daisies is an obvious example. Colorful flowers and butterflies comfortably make their home amidst a series of stylized pink skulls. Rose Garden is another recent example. Enjoy the beautiful blooms, but don't forget to pay good care to the thorny stems supporting the affair. Even her most optimistic quilts, resplendent in the radiant power of the universe, have an element of untamed abundance—as though Mother Nature could suffocate you in beauty, if she so cared.
The Forgotten Garden is the first quilt in a series of four which address some of the concerns outlined above. The visual field is dominated by the stylized brambly thorns of a garden long neglected (Mrs. Haversham's?). We move though this oppressive field of unrelieved difficulty when, of a sudden, the thorns part and we are beckoned by a bucolic vision of orderly, colorful flowers. Is this a beacon to keep faith when mired in brambles? Or is it a mirage created by the mind, unrelieved from the tugging and snatching of the thorns? Perhaps we will be given further clues in the three quilts which follow. Stay tuned!
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