Another artist once posed this question to me, “Aren’t all our works just trying to say the same thing? Differently?” I realised that at least for myself, this was true. My work is always about over-consumption, waste, loss, and being surrounded by seemingly endless stuff. I’m drawn to it and its potential, but am overwhelmed by it. In response to this mass consumerism, I primarily use discarded waste for making my artwork. This could be anything from old mattresses, corks, fabric, or timber, but it is primarily plastic waste that I use in my work. I like plastic for its colour, diversity, durability and abundance. I also like the inherent politics of plastic. Our reliance and our addiction to plastic as well as its effect on our natural environment makes it a material that is heavy with metaphor.
Jane Gillings has been involved with an eclectic range of work which began with a certificate in Dental Technology. This experience and skills-based training set her up to explore work that employed similar skill-sets such as architectural model-making, taxidermy, museum preparatory work, prop-making, illustration and design, casting and mould-making and sculpture. Her sculpture practice has seen her represented in a number of outdoor sculpture exhibitions including Sculpture by the Sea, where she exhibited for the tenth year in 2016.
Gillings’ work can be seen in festivals and events where she is often asked to create an immersive, interactive artwork for the public to enjoy. Her work has been installed at Art and About, The Galeries Victoria, Parramatta Laneways festival, Girrakool Music Festival, The Five Lands Walk, Taronga Zoo, and Take 3 for the Sea, Mosman Festival, World Square, Beams Festival, Carriageworks, The Banff centre (Canada) and Macquarie University.
In addition to a hands-on based practice, Gillings is also an experienced educator with over 30 years experience working in schools and colleges both public and private. She is currently a casual artist-educator at the Art Gallery of NSW and runs workshops at the National Art School Sydney, The Australian Museum, various local councils and not for profit organisations.