Janice Thwaites

Visual Artist

Still Life (Duvet Project) - 2006

'Flying Duvet 2007' - By Janice Thwaites
Flying Duvet 2007

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'Flying Duvet 1. 2007' - By Janice Thwaites
Flying Duvet 1. 2007

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'Flying Duvet 2. 2007' - By Janice Thwaites
Flying Duvet 2. 2007

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Having worked with the light-weight beach goods, I wanted to continue with materials that could be thrown around, changing shape and form while in the air. Thinking about neolithic stone circles, I used the duvets to see what effect a duvet circle would have in a landscape. Not a very practical idea for an open-air work.

I constructed duvet tents, which could be seen in two or more ways. Safe, hidden, and concealing, or suffocating and oppressive. They also had a sensual feel to them.

'Still Life - 2008' - By Janice Thwaites
Still Life - 2008

Installed in The Rope Store

Quay Arts, Newport I.O.W.

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With some of these elements in mind I put together Still Life, an installation using a set of red bunk beds. Eighteen months before starting on this work my daughter had a massive brain haemorrhage and nearly died. I spent long weeks willing her to recover, returning from hospital late at night and falling into the lower deck of my grandson’s bunk bed. It was like sleeping in a packing crate. I slept the sleep of the exhausted. In the morning I woke to the nightmare that was the reality of the day. The duvets in this piece give the feeling of oppression. The weight of a lifetime bearing down on this small, enclosed space, relating very much to my feelings at that dreadful time.

I manipulated the duvets in many ways. I arranged them in layers and erratic piles. I experimented with and photographed flying duvets. Casts were made in plaster of slept in duvets. A large print on cotton, was also made of a stacked pile of duvets.

Still Life was installed in Winchester School of Art in 2006 and The Rope Store, Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight in 2008.

The Rope Store is also used as the Quaker Meeting House. Behind one of the concealed gallery walls there is hidden a small library and a kitchen. I joined the Quaker meetings while my work was on display. The duvets were surrounded by silent prayer. It was an emotional experience.

Installing Still Life was filmed by Utility Films. The film was about the work of “Five Isle of White Artists”


'Duvet Rolls 2006' - By Janice Thwaites
Duvet Rolls 2006

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'Pile of Duvets 2006' - By Janice Thwaites
Pile of Duvets 2006

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'Duvet Tent 2006' - By Janice Thwaites
Duvet Tent 2006

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'Duvet Pile with Ladder 2008' - By Janice Thwaites
Duvet Pile with Ladder 2008

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'Life Residue 2006' - By Janice Thwaites
Life Residue 2006

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Page last updated: 06 March 2022