“In much the same way as words and music, Art has an infinite capacity to touch the soul”
Jane Hibbert’s abstract sculptures are strongly influenced by natural rhythms: “I’m intrigued by the underlying order within nature and how this cascades throughout the natural world.” They have an organic quality to them; some are rippled as though moved by water or the wind, others are pendulous and teardrop shaped. Their smoothness and soft curves speak of objects that have been weathered by the elements.
Inspired by a wide range of sources and triggered by concepts that intrigue her – time, symbolism, the cycle of life, contrast, duality and even autobiographical stories - her 3d forms all are concerned with an aesthetic ideal and informed by the characteristics of her chosen material.
Another important consideration in much of Jane’s work is an awareness of time and of how materials can hold the handprint of previous generations: “Stone’s resonance gives it a timeless quality that has long been admired by humankind through spiritual structures like altars, monuments, stone circles and pyramids through to small amulets”. Jane‘s interest in the symbolism within art from ancient cultures and its enduring resonance, together with her desire to communicate her thoughts, feelings and experiences forges a connection between her sculptures and those of the past.
“I forge an intimate connection with my materials, in equal measure to the form itself. I believe materials have a unique energy, and this along with shape has a direct effect on us.” As well as stone, Jane works in bronze, ceramics and stone composite. Respectful of the properties of each material, she uses her knowledge of their individual features to guide her work. For example, alabaster’s relationship to water – formed from the mineral residue under dried up lakes – is evident in the flowing forms of Jane’s alabaster sculptures, which echo the element’s qualities of strength and calmness.
Carving especially requires an intense engagement between the sculptor and the stone. “It takes time until you can go with the flow of the stone. It then becomes a compulsive dialogue. It’s not silent. It’s a bit like a meditation, the carving is repetitive and calming.”
The interaction with materials really excites Jane. She has a heightened awareness of the texture and surface qualities of a sculpture. The lines that criss-cross the surface of many of her sculptures are testament to this attention to detail as they offer a complete contrast to the smooth flowing curves within the rest of the piece. The equal importance placed on touch and sight is also evident in Jane’s Handheld series of slip-cast sculptures: “They’re polished, worn and smooth, like they’ve been handled for many years. They’re small enough that you can pick them up and put them on your knee.”
Jane’s sculptures invite touch. Many have a hole within them, encouraging the viewer to look through the sculpture and explore what is beyond. “The view hole reminds us how diverse we all are, and how we are shown the same things but perceive them differently.” Other works encourage us to explore the inner space of the form. The space within the skeletal sculptures provides the viewer with a safe inner cave in which to rest. “It feels like another dimension to the piece. The outside lattice work has it’s own story referencing metal work from Ancient Rome, but the shape is from now; its like a new shape is being formed from old materials.”
Jane’s sculptures have a grace and quiet power to them that engages the viewer emotionally, intellectually and aesthetically and it is these combined qualities that makes Jane’s work so rewarding.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep”