The Curated Collection | Janna Watson

What’s in a line? According to Janna Watson, a great deal. And as a long-time appreciator of her artwork, I agree unswervingly. At least when it comes to Janna’s gestural, exuberant, expressive lines. If you are not yet a fan of abstract art, this may be your conversion experience.

{photo: rene johnston}
“heart beats you”
As intriguing as the work she creates, Janna’s thoughts on her latest collection have me utterly enrapt:
How do I go about making a line that isn’t stupid?  This is one of the things I have considered for the resulting aesthetics of my work.  As one who desires to keep my perception and awareness in my process honest, I have found my answer to be this: To become childlike again; the line has a mind of it’s own.  Through seemingly non-sensical mark making movements, action becomes visible.  The childlike chromatic amusement turns everything weightless.  Suspended space.  Even the lines are floating.  Like stilettos dancing in the clouds.  It is the space between everything. 

“caterpillar cave”
“ferris wheel”
“koolaid lips”
The night turns on its tap and I drink it through multi-coloured straws.  Soul is the place.  I want spirit more than anything.  It is not about making a picture in a painting, it is about having an experience.  The lighter I become with the weight of colour, line and space, the less gravity matters and all these things being created float up into the sky; the place you might call in between everything.  My biggest reluctance in all of this is to not make a stupid line.  When I reach the desired childlike space between everything, I remember that a line has a mind of it’s own, and I must not try to possess it, lest I do, and it becomes stupid.   
“when I think of Paris I want to wrap my legs around it”
“irony is fun, fake and true”

I think it is the childlike weightlessness and freedom to Janna’s work that so compels me. I want to enter into that kind of joy and dwell comfortably in the tension of chaos and colour, order and form. And I think that means I want to dwell comfortably in my own skin. I want to experience the joy of living unfettered by fear.

For those of you in Toronto, Janna’s latest show just opened this past Friday at Bau-Xi Gallery and will be open until January 26th. Be sure to stop by and drink in life {in line and colour} through the multi-coloured straws of Janna’s work.

Happy Monday!