Janet Halligan | Hooked as soon as she started working with clay
'...as soon as I started working in clay I was hooked...'
"I went to art college from grammar school much to the disappointment of my teachers who in the mid-sixties really only valued an academic path. Needless to say, the teaching of art at my grammar school was rather perfunctory and I sometimes wonder how I ever ended up on an art course!
I was probably influenced more by sculptors and painters than other ceramicists...
During the seventies and eighties, I brought up two children and taught art in schools and colleges. I continued to make work, concentrating on ceramics and during the '80s started making the precursors of the “trompe l’oeil“ work I make now. The first pieces were clothed torsos that started off as rectangular pots and gradually took on a more realistic form. I was probably influenced more by sculptors and painters than other ceramicists; Claes Oldenburg the American pop artist who made huge soft sculptures of everyday objects; Rene Magritte who painted shoes with toes.
|Janet Halligan | Jug Forms|
|Janet Halligan | Teapots|
You could say I have been influenced by the traditions of the Leach approach in that I consciously rejected the idea of “truth to materials”, which although long discarded today by many practitioners, was still prevalent in the late sixties when I was at college.
My early sculptural ceramics were angular pieces based on architecture and machinery, a theme that I have partly revisited in recent work. My later work seeks to imitate leather and cloth; all ways of making clay into non-claylike forms." Janet Halligan 2018