Jane Ackroyd FRSS
I have lived my life as a sculptor and have survived solely through my practice; I work in an improvisational way, using a variety of different metals.
I have had three major commissions in the last two years, two for Countryside PLC, and one for Croudace in Kent, which have run alongside a residency at Benson Sedgwick Engineering. This residency resulted in a new bolder stream of work; I created several abstract landscapes, combining bronze and stainless steel.
One of the biggest influences in my life is a small town in the Pyrenees called Begur. I went there often as a child. I loved the steel balconies and sculptures around me, and spent many hours in a forge in the small town of Palafrugell, watching the blacksmith. From an early age I could see that steel could speak and create a feeling of drama and beauty. I still return there often and this area and landscape informs my practice as a sculptor.
I trained in the abstract tradition and was taught by Anthony Caro, Phillip King, Paolozzi, Bryan Kneale, William Pye, and David Annesley.
Making sculpture keeps me in touch with my earlier unselfconscious self where the world had a connectedness: the birds to the trees to the sky. It is a way of loosing myself in that world again. My inspiration continues to come from landscapes, cityscapes, and wildlife.
Recently I have enjoyed teaching A-level Art enabling students to realise their ideas in concrete form. The two-way relationship of teaching and learning has been a revelation, and has freed up my approach to my own work.