Amazing Art: The Dynamic Driftwood Horse Sculptures of Heather Jansch
Her understanding of her subject and her perception of the finished work create monumental sculptures that are awe inspiring.
“From the beginning my twin passions were drawing and horses and my hero was Leonardo da Vinci. I dreamed of becoming an artist living in wooded foothills with clear flowing water at my doorstep and horses grazing all around.” Heather Jansch
Born in Essex in 1948 as Heather Sewell, she studied at Goldsmith College in London, but left after the first year.
As a talented artist and still a student, she married the influential acoustic guitarist Bert Jansch, a founder member of the folk-rock group Pentangle, in 1968. Bert was influenced to record the songs “Miss Heather Rosemary Sewell” and “M’Lady Nancy” for her. Heather did the artwork for his 1971 album “Rosemary Lane”
When Pentangle split up in 1973, Bert and Heather moved to a farm near Lampeter in Wales. Two years later Bert left, to go back to the music industry. (Although they only divorced in 1988.)
In Wales Heather raised Welsh Cobs and continued to develop her painting skills. She describes this period of her life as “her apprenticeship.”
It was here that her love of horses and art jelled together and soon she was painting commissioned works.
In 1980 she moved to Devon, where she now lives. She began painting other subjects and soon her brilliance as a colourist shone through. But her creative side led her to experiment with wire and plaster sculptures of the passion of her life, horses.
It was not until she started to work with driftwood that the dynamism of her skill as a sculptor came out.
The free standing life size horses made entirely out of driftwood weigh up to three-quarters of a ton.
From 1988 she started exhibiting her work to public acclaim in the UK and Europe and became an artist in residence at many venues.
In 1999 she was invited to exhibit alongside other world renowned sculptors for the Millennium celebrations at Canary Wharf in London at the “The Shape of the Century – One Hundred Year of British Sculpture” exhibition.
In 2001 she became Artist in residence at the much acclaimed Eden Project.
Ian Courcoux described her as “one of the most positive people I know and this aspect of her personality, combined with the exciting originality of her work, has led to her becoming involved in important exhibitions and future projects…
“It would have been so easy for Heather to have continued to produce one beautiful driftwood piece after another…. why change a winning formula? However, that is not her nature and she has recently been working with different materials and styles, in tandem with the driftwood sculptures which are at the heart of her art.” (source)
To see more go to Heather Jansch’s website
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