Jane Theau

Creating work that is as immaterial as possible is my starting point.

The world is overwhelmed by a surfeit of things, so I try not to contribute to the burden. My work is either barely there, created from thread and shadows, or made using materials that have had previous lives.

The thread works, even as room sized installations, weigh just a few grams and are fashioned from cotton and tarlatan. They are like drawings in the air. Tarlatan is a type of sized muslin that is used in the printmaking process to wipe the ink from plates before printing. I source it from the garbage bins in the printmaking studio at UNSW Art & Design and Cicada Press. Most of the sculptures are made from recycled materials: scientific glassware, broken wine glasses, old spectacles, guitar strings, Japanese fishing floats, cello bows, and from ceramics.

Underpinning my work is a worry about the unsustainability of continual economic growth as society’s dominant, unchallenged paradigm, the consequence of this – unthinking consumption, and the outcome – climate change. I try not to be heavy handed, and rather hope to create works that impinge lightly on the world, and have a bit of humour, but it’s not so funny. We need to consume less, or we will soon be sunbaking in Oslo.

I have a Master of Art from Art & Design, University of New South Wales, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, NewYork, and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Biomedical Science) from the University of Technology, Sydney.