Janet Nathan makes beautiful constructions of found materials, driftwood, boat plank and resin, subtly combined and composed to poetic images. Many of them are inspired by her love of rivers and reaches, saltings and lagoons, estuaries and the seas edge, and they always refer in some way to her experience of particular places in the turning conditions of daylight and moonlight, weather and water, time and tide. This is not to say that they are purely topographical, descriptive pictures of specific places. Nathan’s is rather an art of memory and celebration, in which feelings and thought find expression in evocative objects that seem to recollect for us things we have known and seen.
Thus on one hand they work through their presence as actual things in real space, resembling objects we have encountered in the world, at the boatyard or the wharf, in a Tuscan chapel or on a river shoreline, things often worn and weathered or perhaps freshened up with a coat of new paint. On the other, they recall moments of intense visual experience, looking upriver towards a dark pier at sunset,or at the cold silver winter light across a lake, or the swell an curve of a hill, or at a sun-faded blue fence by a Mediterranean beach. Nathan’s constructions, that is to say, have about them something of both painting and sculpture, and they delight and intrigue with their enigmatic complications.
Janet Nathan was born in London and studied at St Martin’s School of Art. She lives and works in London.