Janice Thwaites

A Place to Pray - A Place to Play - 2005

'Place to Pray, Place to Play' - By Janice Thwaites
Place to Pray, Place to Play

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When I recommenced my studies at Winchester School of Art in 2004, I was looking to develop work relating to a specific site. I decided to use The Rope Store on Newport Quay, on the Isle of Wight. This is an interesting building that is both a gallery and also The Friends Meeting House, where the Quakers meet every Sunday. They often cover up the art on display, as some of the work on show may distract from prayer. I found this exciting because the artwork covered created another set of shapes and forms. Also in this space, hidden within the wall, are a library and a kitchen.

I liked the idea of covering and concealing, hiding, revealing, and exposing. The dock, visible from the windows, is tidal. The water covers and then exposes, altering the view, and the reflections of the water, inside the building.

Initially, I made work relating to covering, and concealing. I looked at religious coverings, shrouds, veils, and habits. I began to consider making a moveable place to pray. Maybe a Neolithic stone circle, but made from a light material, "blow away", something filled with air. I decided to use inflatable beach goods, covered with black plastic. As the work developed I decided to use the beach goods in their raw, brightly coloured, original state. The place to pray also became a place to play.

'Deflated 1' - By Janice Thwaites
Deflated 1

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'Deflated 2' - By Janice Thwaites
Deflated 2

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'Deflated 1' - By Janice Thwaites
Deflated 3

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In 2007 this work was installed on Newport Quay as part of Quay Arts “Free Quay Exhibition” Photographs taken during installation, by myself, and Tim Collard, have become an exhibition called “Hot Air”. This was shown during 2008-2009.

In July 2011 "Hot Air" was displayed for the last time, as part of Open Studios, in Bembridge, Isle of Wight. The inflatables were sliced and cut down, with some dramatic results.

Researching this project I came across Michael Gill's amazing inflatable church. I also looked at the work of Christo, Andy Warhol, Robert Smithson, and Susie MacMurray.

'White Tube' - By Janice Thwaites
White Tube

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'Purple Tube' - By Janice Thwaites
Purple Tube

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'Colour Tunnel' - By Janice Thwaites
Colour Tunnel

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'Altar Piece' - By Janice Thwaites
Altar Piece

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'Escaped' - By Janice Thwaites
Escaped

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Page last updated: 12th August 2012