Artist Bio

A child’s first drawing is usually mastering/ memorizing ‘human’. In a fine arts world where conceptual art has become convention, I remain compelled by the forces of the figure. My method is decidedly un-contemporary, choosing to work in traditional processes of sculpture focused on the body human exploring timeless issues, in real world time.

Having spent most of my working life as a psychotherapist, my ongoing interest has been to delve the depths of the human psyche.  I’ve had the privilege as well as the burden of witnessing the complexities of experience we each hold within us. I use the human figure as a beginning point to explore issues of relatedness, to self, to other, to the world around us, to our history; how we live and understand our place.

I have an ambivalent relationship with humanity and an interest in life’s inherent contradictions; good yet bad, simple yet complex, greedy yet generous, destructive yet creative, free yet trapped, each containing aspects of the other. How does one find resolution in this? Or comfort? So too this paradox portrays itself in traditional forms of sculpture. In art as in life the human form, I believe, is simultaneously limited and limitless. It holds within it ineffable potential yet it is grounded by its mortality and materiality.  It is imbued with meaning and simultaneously just ‘is’, without need for elaboration, symbolism or intellectual unpacking.

How do formal art objects connect with the internal space of a viewer? Can lived experience be adequately expressed in a ‘thing’? Can the intangible be captured in the tangible? My quest, I suppose, to understand and try to grasp something deeply profound, something core. What happens in the space between and within? What is this ethereal stuff which influences our experience?

At one level my sculpting practice moves towards a social commentary on contemporary life. It explores social reality just as it is, asking the viewer to consider their responses more deeply. At another level, I am searching for an understanding of lived experience which is much more elusive.

Addendum: Of course, in the real world, I need to make a living, so I connect with people and build sculptures, often portraits, which capture that which is meaningful to others.

Jane Hook Sculpture