Heather Jansch Driftwood Horses

Heather Jansch

The Somerville Gallery is pleased to show work’s by Heather Jansch.

“…From the beginning my twin passions were drawing and horses. My hero was Leonardo da Vinci. I dreamed of becoming an international equestrian artist living in wooded foothills with clear flowing water at my doorstep and horses grazing all around.

I hated the confines of school and was a disruptive student except during blissful art classes. I took A level art two years early and failed all my O levels except English language but miraculously that got me to Walthamstow College to study visual art. There, drawing was regarded as the first essential. I was enthralled and excelled. I went on to the now famous Goldsmiths College in London where sadly, at the time, figurative work was unfashionable. There was a life room, and models too, but no tutors ventured near. They liked and encouraged (typically) 6ft square green canvases with triangles and circles in bold clashing colours and sculptures using planks and blocks of polystyrene.

At the end of the first year I was asked to leave the course. I was told that I did not have the stuff that painters were made from and, if lucky, I might scrape a place somewhere to do graphics. My confidence was shattered. I was not interested in graphics. I liked the country, painting and constructing things from what lay around.

But that was then, and I went on to achieve my dream by virtue of fate, the generosity of others, luck and determination. I went my own way, not always wisely and not always to accolade from the establishment. I began with painting equestrian commissions and my accuracy easily commanded high prices. Ultimately however I found it restricting, I sorely felt the lack of a degree. I was lost and without a style of my own.

I sought advice from Arthur Giadelli, an artist of international standing with a well-deserved reputation for also being a gifted teacher. He told me to go and look at a hedge and draw not what I saw but draw what made a thorn a thorn. And never stop working with horses but find a way to make them mine. I am forever in his debt.

I knew that to exhibit prematurely would be unwise; I had to wait until I had unequivocally found what I was seeking. So I continued with commissioned work while also experimenting. Then out of the blue it came in on the tide. Driftwood. It was like a thunderbolt and I was finally ready to show my work to the world. It was driftwood horses…”

words from www.heatherjansch.com