Artist statement

Artists statement 2016 Jane Walker

The way I draw lines comes from many different sources. I make pencil sketches outside in the city streets, I look at photos as if they were drawings, I reference particular graffiti and street art. I often include street names, times and routes to pin point my location. With my new work I have been looking at the history of places and transport systems, and this has involved mapping.

On a recent residency in Sofia I made a project about trams, which are a feature of Eastern European cities. I like to work by scratching lines through thick paint, normally oil paint and the layers of colours indicate things that are buried, worked over. I have been working on various special oil papers, some are primed, and some mimic canvas in texture. The intention is to just work the paint and not worry about the rectangular edge of a stretched canvas. Before the residency in Sofia I always made the lines white or light, the residency experience has freed my use of colour. When I visit a location I note the colours often taking them from existing paintwork on vehicles, street art and signs. Before starting on the scratched line paintings my work had been abstract and the cities could have been anywhere, now my work is much more figurative and particular to place.

For about ten years I worked in watercolour exclusively and my work became more graphic, the lines more important. The lines form a network, sometimes a fragmented grid this came from thinking of the image of the city as a textile and civilisation as a fragile veneer. I have recently realised that my earlier work is quite similar to that of the Portuguese artist Vieira da Silva so I keep this in mind while making the new work about particular places because the earlier work encompasses a philosophy and a world view.