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ASK THE ARTIST: 12 Questions & A Joke with Jane Lillico

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HEADING-SOUTH-A-trio-of-life-sized-trumpeter-swans.-Commissioned-for-a-residence-in-North-Vancouvers-Edgemont-Village
HEADING SOUTH:  A trio of life-sized trumpeter swans. 
Commissioned for a residence in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village

Q: If there was a favorite work of art you could hang or display in your home, which would it be?

JL: Any piece by  Barbara San Severino. She is a Vancouver artist with a love of nature, an incredible eye for scale, and a flair for drama. Her landscapes remind me of the couple of decades spent there enjoying the West Coast, and my very first taste of the Pacific.

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I was born here on the West Coast of B.C. and no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve have always felt that this is my home. I have been deeply inspired by the raw natural beauty that envelops us, and dictates how we live, work and play. Having raised a healthy active son, I was fortunate to spend so much time playing outdoors. Whether hiking, skiing, boating, fishing, biking or just exploring – every experience has been rich and colorful. I started painting casually about 10 years ago and found, more recently, that it allowed me to express my infatuation with nature’s colors and textures. I have found a way to encapsulate what I love and bring it indoors. -http://www.barbsansart.ca/

Q:  If there was one dead artist that you could hang out with for a day, who would that be? Why?

JL:  César Baldaccini. The works of Baldaccini fascinate me with their oversize scale, meticulous detail and humour. I would love to discuss his inspirations and am sure he was a very funny guy.

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César Baldaccini (1921 – 1998), better known simply as César, was a noted French  sculptor.

Perhaps his most famous work came in the form of “expansions” of his own hands – his thumb and fingerprints, particularly. Using modern construction methodology, César took a mold of his thumb and created several absurdly enlarged versions of it, which can now be seen in parks and museums around the world. Undoubtedly the most famous of these is this gargantuan expansion in La Défense. – http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/le-pouce-giant-thumb-sculpture

Q:  If there were a magic power you could use in your art making, what would it be? 

JL:  To have clones of myself working on multiple projects simultaneously, or to imagine a piece and have it magically appear.

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JANE WITH SOME OF HER WORK AT ART! VANCOUVER LAST MAY

Q:  If we were going to talk about your art, where would you want to start?

JL: My art first and foremost is designed to evoke a smile, a feeling of happiness; whether finely detailed or more whimsically moulded it’s important to me that it makes people smile.

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Jane Lillico talking about her work to visitors at her booth at Art! Vancouver.

Left: Jane holding up her mixed media and papier-mache marionette, Ichabod Crane, and

Right: wearing her mixed media and papier-mache rattlesnake hat named Halo.

Q:  What quality in others makes you want to slap them?

JL:  Unconsciousness. A lack of awareness of cause and effect.

Q: Art is so subjective, what kind of art is unappealing to you?

JL: Chaotic or disorganized pieces make me feel uncomfortable. I like harmony and flow.

Q:  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as far as your art, inspiration or career?

JL:  Get out of Vancouver.

 

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Jane’s FRICK, FRACK & FREDDY FRIGATES flying high in the gallery.

 

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FLIGHT SCHOOL hanging in Jane’s home studio for finishing touches.

Q:  What is most important to you…the subject, the process or the final work?

JL:  The final work – although the process to me is almost like therapy, so it’s right up there too!

Q: If your work was edible, what would it taste like?

JL:  It would be picante –  biting you back a little, before it melts in your mouth and most definitely makes you lick your lips.

Q: What is the one thing you need in your studio to work, other than your art supplies?

JL: Music!

Q:  What is your most favorite piece of your artwork on display in Galeria de Ida Victoria now, and why?

JL:  My suspended piece of flying fish called ‘Flight School’. Because I incorporated a broader variety of materials with the organza wings, and because each of their faces has a completely different expression. They are individuals despite the uniformity of motion.

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Flight School. Jane Lillico. Papier-mache, organza & mixed media.

Q:  In the era of the internet, why do you choose to continue to work with galleries?

JL:  My work must be seen and touched to be fully appreciated. No matter how excellent the photography, one cannot grasp the feeling one gets in a face to face encounter with a Lillico character.

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Jane with her “babies” Loki and Taylor.

Q: Now the best part, tell us a joke.

JL: The story of Earl Doodad… when he was stopped for speeding and the cop asked for his license, there was only one name on the license – Earl. When asked why, he replied “well I used to be called Earl Doodad, and after high school I went to university and took dentistry. When I graduated I was Earl Doodad DD, but I got bored looking into people’s mouths so I went back to school and took medicine. And when I graduated from there I was Earl Doodad DD, MD. After a while being a doctor I had an affair with one of my patients and I got VD. So there I was – Earl Doodad DD, MD with VD! So when the faculty found out I had VD, they took away my MD and my DD; and the VD took away my Doodad, so now I’m just Earl.”

Why do I love Jane Lillico’s work?
Jane is one of the most creative people I know, and having an art gallery and being surrounded by art and creative people, that says a lot! Jane’s home studio is even a work of art. She surrounds herself with her own art and the art of others, walking into to her home is like stepping into her creative mind. Jane is a problem solver, she figures out what she needs to create a piece and then goes out and finds it. Her chosen medium is papier-mache and she incorporates found objects and recycled materials because not only do they have their own story, but because she is passionate about the environment and the importance of reusing and recycling. One man’s garbage becomes part of Jane’s art! Her work is whimsical and humorous but technically they are engineering marvels. The technicalities of creating a papier-mache bird with a 4 foot wingspan that is balanced by a length of fishing line is amazing!! Jane is known for her papier-mache works but she has other artistic talents including highly detailed pen and ink architectural drawings, hand-sewn tapestries and she also does creative writing, making Jane a bit of a Renaissance woman. I can safely say there is nothing that Jane Lillico can’t create in papier-mache! She thinks outside of the box with every project she takes on and as she wrote on her website,  she “has taken the ancient art form of Papier-Mache to a higher level – both figuratively and literally. Her whimsical birds and other flying objects can be found soaring through otherwise unused ceiling space in stairwells, lobbies and even some people’s living rooms. With the increasing popularity of vaulted ceilings, and more windows than walls featured in today’s construction; Lillico has discovered a growing demand for suspended pieces. She’s excited to be leading a movement to utilize this untapped resource for art display, in hospitality, commercial and residential environments! While pelicans are Jane’s personal favorite, she has expanded her species to include Trumpeter Swans, Steller’s Jays, Magnificent Frigate birds, and Flying Fish. If you have a favorite bird, Jane can make it fly!” So next time you are in the gallery, make sure to look up!!
-Ida Victoria

My favorite piece in the gallery by Jane is Lyle, the last Pelican we have from her series called Adios Amigos. Adios Amigos was a series of 5 papier-mache life-sized pelicans created with recycled materials. Each was named after an “Ex”, and I just LOVE telling that to gallery visitors! They get such a kick out of the “inspiration” for these pieces and visitors love the details of a heart on their chest and that they have been “banded” with their names on their leg.

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By Ida Victoria Gustavson, Art Correspondent, Galeria de Ida Victoria

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