Janice Thwaites

Dilemma - 2002

The work for this exhibition came to fruition after I had been working on a project for "Catalyst". All Catalyst exhibitions have a science base.

'Counting Sheep, Counting Dolly's' - By Janice Thwaites
Counting Sheep, Counting Dolly's

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I became interested in pigs that had been genetically altered, and bred, for human heart transplants. I began to question how far we would go in using other species for experiments. Was it so very different to breed pigs for bacon? I looked at the Roslyn Institute and the experiments going on, that produced Dolly the cloned sheep. Following on from this, I made "Counting Sheep, Counting Dolly's" The clone nightmare of the 21st Century.

'Used Up' - By Janice Thwaites
Used Up

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One of the largest pieces that I had put together was "Used Up". This is a black and white photograph, enlarged to 21' x 2'7" deep. Under this are four metal feed baskets, filled with boots and shoes. I was inspired to make this piece while watching a herd of cows cross the road, holding up the traffic, as they ambled over to the milking sheds. It occurred to me that, we milk them, eat them, and then we wear them.

'Dancing Bear, Dancing Bare' - By Janice Thwaites
Dancing Bear, Dancing Bare

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The use of taxidermy, popular in the nineteenth century, provided me with a few relevant ideas. I wanted to take an elephant's foot umbrella stand, one step further, and make a vase from a woman’s foot. I began to play with words, and produced "Dancing Bear, Dancing Bare" incorporating a full sized stuffed bear.

I used real fur, purchased from charity shops, to make a vanity case. This was constructed using three layers. The outer layer was a cage, the second layer was fur, and the interior of the box was lined with mirrors. The viewer is then, by reflection, inside the cage, inside the skin, inside the box.

'Hat Box' - By Janice Thwaites
Hat Box

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'Foot Vase' - By Janice Thwaites
Foot Vase

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'Vanity Case' - By Janice Thwaites
Vanity Case

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I continued working on this project for the next three years. Although I like to keep a certain amount of humour in my work, there is a dark and sometimes depressing aspect that goes with it. I decided that I needed to start a completely different project.

'Beauty and the Beastly' (Word document) is an essay on the work of Janice Thwaites by Annabelle Munday.

There is an illustrated catalogue that goes with this exhibition, also a DVD.

Inspiration for this work came from artists: Jana Sterbak - the meat dress, Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, Damien Hirst and Janine Antoni.


Page last updated: 13th August 2012