The Art of Jane Denton
In all honesty, I didn’t understand Jane Denton’s art when I first saw it. I spotted her large pink ‘X’ and ‘O’ works in interior designer Emily Henderson’s master bedroom. The pink shapes looked like they were painted or printed, and I didn’t really pay much attention beyond that. They seemed sweet, I thought.
One element that did linger for a second was that the shapes were very pale. Unusually pale. I thought it was a brave and interesting choice to make them so pale, rather than sticking with a brighter (maybe neon) pink that would make the shapes jump out at you.
After the first sighting of Jane’s work on Emily Henderson’s blog, I started to see her work everywhere.
I fell upon a 2015 post about her while looking through Becki Owens’ interiors blog.
Then it was a Jealous Curator post and podcast episode featuring Jane that highlighted that her work was more complex than it had first appeared to me.
Have a look for yourself below.
That’s right, they’re embroidered. Could you tell?
When I saw more of her pieces- close ups of their texture and three dimensionality- I began to see why they were so prized by designers and bloggers. They are a great example of how some art is better seen in person, even better if it’s several pieces together.
I found the same thing when I went to see a Joseph Beuys exhibit in London twelve years ago, and again with a Jeff Koons exhibit in Paris two years ago. I had seen various pieces of both artists work in the past but I didn’t get a real sense of their style and what they were trying to create until I saw a gallery full of their work (I was won over by Beuys and disappointed by Koons).
Once I thought about it, I realised that it makes sense that conceptual and abstract artists, who are often working on ideas and techniques in a series over a long period of time, are best viewed in accumulation so that you have a better chance of grasping their intentions and seeing from their perspective.
Jane Denton’s pieces had the same effect on me. When I saw many of them, in detail, I loved their softness and boldness. I saw that she was combining modern geometry and colours with traditional techniques. As she hand embroiders them, they feel both personal and abstract, which is an interesting combination for art that is made to hang in a home.
I particularly like the pieces in darker colours, like the last two below, because of the contrast between the severity of the colours and the fuzziness of the wool.
Have a look at Jane’s website, see what you think?