Lana de Jager
Pakenham Upper, Australia
Preferred artistic medium
Art level career
I make drawings that are transferred to a metal-backed photopolymer etching plate. These plates can be used to do traditional intaglio print making, using a hand operated relief press. Each fine art print is made by hand, incorporating centuries old techniques, like chine-collé or a la poupée - with a huge variety or results. It is an ever evolving and endlessly creative way of making art.
It took me 25 years (while working as a graphic designer) to feel ready for making art full-time. I did not think it was as 'useful' as I could be in the world, meaning that I was too afraid to follow the thing that I yearned for the most. When our family suffered 3 losses of significant people in a 22 month period, I had a crisis of existence. In this makeshift moment in my life, I turned to art despite my original fears and insecurities.
The original themes were (naturally) around loss and grief. These works are all circular to reflect ideas around lifecycle and cyclical thought processes. Next, I tackled the cultural pressures I grew up with. Conversations with my girlfriends about how women should act, what wives are expected to do or why we feel pressure to become mothers in a world where there are too many people already - these conversations fuelled a series of works where a small women is carrying a huge weight. There are so many shared experiences to talk to here and hooks onto mental health issues of women in our shared multi-culture.
Currently I am working on pieces to deal with thoughts around climate change and processing all the terrible news we are facing with regards to our impact on the earth.
In 2016 I started producing art full-time and focusing on building a career. The result has been 31 gallery exhibitions since February 2017, including 9 solo exhibitions and countless deeply connected conversations with strangers. One of the most rewarding things that comes out of making art with personal content is that sometimes people want to tell you their personal story - in the end it's all about people and all about communication - yay!