Through her work, Jessica Janes attempts to understand how emotional experience impacts identity and her reality of self. Beginning with a material and general concept, her work develops and evolves through experimentation into forms often differing from the original intent. Her materials dictate the final form of her work and have varied from wax, plaster, and autumn leaves to printing processes including lithography, woodcut, screen-print and even printing using pomegranate seeds. She was born and raised in Brantford Ontario and graduated from Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School before attending Queen’s University’s Fine Arts program.
More about this body of work,
In 2015 I lost a close friend to cancer at only 19 which caused a radical shift in my artwork. Art became a coping method to deal with the grieving process. This collection, combining print and sculpture, is inspired by Greek and Roman mythology and acts as a meditation on that grieving process. For centuries, Antiquity has been used for academic and artistic reflection but to me, mythology takes me back to my childhood. Sitting in my grandparents’ basement curled up in musty blankets opening books with stunningly elaborate illustrations and reading stories I probably shouldn’t have read before bed.
I used the mythological stories of Adonis and Aphrodite, Persephone, Narcissus, and Icarus and Daedalus. Each of the mythologies include the loss of a loved one. In the cases where gods or goddesses are involved, that loved one is transformed into something beautiful and lives on in a different form. I chose specific parts of these myths to represent my procession through grief. In the myth involving the mortals Icarus and Daedalus, the boy who flies too close to the sun and his inventor father, no such transformation occurs. I decided to give it a different ending. My artwork has helped me understand my grief, accept it and turn it into something beautiful.