Photo by VIRGINIA WOOLF for stuff.co.nz
Wellington, North Island
Jane Blackmore is a visual artist and is the joint owner of ‘Blackmore-Best’ Gallery in Shelly Bay, Wellington. As a practicing artist with over 20 years’ experience, Jane’s work is primarily inspired by the stunning and singular vistas of the Wellington hills and harbour.
Characterised by emotional intensity, visitors to the gallery are struck by how her paintings announce themselves with a calm assuredness – the hallmark of an established artist who continues to grow and challenge her own artistic vision.
In an age where speed and instant gratification seem to permeate every corner of our lives, Jane’s paintings offer a space for thoughtful reflection. ‘Spirituality’ is a word contemporary artists and writers tend to avoid, favouring instead words like ‘ethereal’ or ‘intangible’. Blackmore’s landscapes are unashamedly spiritual. When we look at her landscapes and seascapes, we sense that we ourselves have inhabited these places, perhaps as children, perhaps in memory, or perhaps in a dream.
In equal measure to the spirituality in Jane’s work is joy, and this is abundant in her series of florals. Flowers push forward from dark backgrounds, defiantly sensuous and celebrating the natural cycles of birth, growth and decay. Jane’s floral works make you feel the same joy she felt when she painted them. Jane’s recent work continues her exploration of colour, form, and the visceral qualities of paint. Marking a shift towards a purer abstraction, we see the artist peeling back layers of representation to arrive at a mélange of colour and light. Golds, purples, and blues – there is a lush regal feel to these works.
Like the emotive charge of her landscapes, and the visual joy of her florals, her abstractions use a visual language synonymous with an artist working at a heightened level of skill and creative expression.