Last Thursday, I got to view some of Jane Weibel’s artwork in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West. Jane’s installation included symbolic ceramic pieces, that were shaped with clay and fired in a kiln. These slender pieces created nostalgic images from the artist. The colors were pastel-like, with rounded edges and soft hues. The work was 3-dimensional, and recalled playground-like structures.
Jane built these pieces as a tribute to her childhood memories. The foundation of this installation came from a series of photos in her family’s house. She also drew from her memory of her old house. Jane played around with the concept of memory, and how the brain works in remembering these details. Jane mentions how a family member had died from Alzheimer’s, which sparked her to want to solidify memories of her past and hang onto them, in fear of losing it one day. It is very metaphorical in comparison to the actual medium of ceramics, which can be manipulated like a memory. Yet it’s the process of firing it that makes the clay, or memory, permanent.
This piece allows viewers to reflect on their own memories and to cherish them. It gives people insight to reflect on certain times in their life, in recalling their own past and experiences. Failing a test or getting that boy/girl’s attention might be a huge deal to you today, but it is easily forgotten years later. Jane’s artwork allows me, and other people, to think about memories that have been hidden and tucked away, forgotten. It pushes us to appreciate and remember some memories that are central to our identity.
You can find out more about Jane & her artwork on her instagram, @Janemargarette.