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24 September 2014

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"London made me..."
Aftermath (detail) by Jane Grisewood
Wrapping, binding, containing and preserving: 'Aftermath' (detail) in wax, plaster and white sheets over canvas panels is "a testimony to the fragility of life", says Jane Grisewood
spacer New Zealander Jane Grisewood's art is fuelled by memory and experience. As her first solo show in the capital gets underway, she talks about the significance of London, its allure and excitement...


dot Born in Otaki, New Zealand; travelled extensively in the Pacific Islands, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Russia, North and
Central America; now resident in the UK - in Suffolk

dot After working as a publisher in Children's Multimedia for Kingfisher Books, took a break to study Fine Art at the University of East Anglia

dot Graduated as an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in London in 2002

dot Solo exhibitions include 'Transition', at North House Gallery in Manningtree, Essex in March 2003 and 'Aftermath' at the Ensign Gallery, London in June 2003


'Aftermath' brings together many of Jane Grisewood's experiences and journeys marking time in wax, plaster, paint and canvas.

Th exhibition runs until Friday 4 July at the Ensign Gallery, 18 Ensign Street, London E1.

Opening hours 11 - 6pm. Admission is free and on Tuesday 24 June, to mark Midsummer's Day, the Ensign is hosting a free evening party until 10pm


More of London's visual arts scene in our Galleries section



Jane GrisewoodMy love affair with London began in my childhood growing up in New Zealand.

As an avid reader, I devoured everything I could on London and 'overseas', and the allure and the excitement of these faraway places attracted me like a moth to light.

As soon as I'd graduated and saved enough money from cleaning motel rooms and waitressing, I travelled to 'swinging' London.

Arriving in the capital was near to heaven and as I walked - yes walked - from Putney to Trafalgar Square, I savoured and marvelled at the images that were now actually there before my eyes.

favourite bus

After spending the requisite time - for an Antipodean - travelling on the back of a motorbike around Europe, I landed a wonderful job in London at a book publishers.

I soon became an art editor and then a publishing director, involved in the formation of Kingfisher Books, both in London and New York. And living in Islington I would take my favourite bus, the number 73, to work in central London every day - this continued for 20 years!

'Transition 1' in wax, plaster and acrylic on canvas (6 x 6ft) by Jane Grisewood

Life in London was fun, exhilarating, exhausting, and everything I'd ever dreamt of.

All the important events of my life have happened in the capital - meeting my husband, the birth of my daughter, buying my first home, getting my first job AND starting my life as an artist. I've always felt that anything is possible in London. It gave me what I craved: a huge sense of freedom.

associated memories

I can never give up my affair with the capital and even though I now live 50 miles northeast, I still need my weekly London fix - the people, the river, the smells, the noise, the congestion, the contrasts.

But having said that, I still need to revisit my Southern Hemisphere homeland too!

For me, it becomes increasingly about associated memories, of time passing in a land, a city, a place - not so much where it is but the experience of it - the effect, which can influence the present.

And that's what fuels my art practice now: a bank of memories, a bank of experiences, which exist despite the location or the distances...

See more of Jane Grisewood's art in Part 2

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