Dr Janette Kerr PRWA Lecture: Extremes and Instabilities – Extreme Wave Project
Tuesday 21st February, 6.30pm at the RWA
Dr Janette Kerr was elected President of the Royal West of England Academy in September 2011 and has been a member since 2003. She received her doctorate in Fine Art from the University of the West of England, 2005, and has been a visiting Research Fellow at UWE since 2007. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, her paintings are held in private and public collections. Drawn to extreme perimeters of land, her work is an index of edges and ledges, exposed headlands and wind-swept seas.
Janette’s lecture accompanies the exhibition Extremes and Instabilities, 16th February to the 4th March 2012 at the RWA, and is the outcome of a current research and development project concerning the interface between art and science, related to history and narratives of the sea around the Shetland Islands. Her work seeks to make direct visual associations between observational, experiential fieldwork, archival and oral research, and oceanographic measurement.
Engaging in open dialogues with Norwegian mathematicians and scientists studying the unpredictability of waves and wind – oceanographers searching the oceans for extreme waves, with Shetland fishermen who know their sea and coastline intimately, and tell tales of storms, massive waves and near escapes, and from delving into the archives for old documents and artefacts relating to fishing, she has amassed a kind of "non-intentional" personal archive.
The project has led to consideration of the process of translation at work between place and making art - whether the process of drawing and painting transcends observation of a place; whether memory and interpretation of that place is affected by the act of drawing – and to consider the impact of all this ‘new knowledge” upon production of artwork. Does such immersion in a place, mean that what is subsequently drawn and painted becomes based less on what is seen and more on what one thinks is known, or wants and imagines to be there?